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HPA annuls amendment allowing campaign activities without quarantine

14 March 2021, MVT 18:47
HPA Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
14 March 2021, MVT 18:47

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Friday, annulled the regulation allowing travel for campaign activities without mandatory quarantine ahead of the upcoming local council election.

According to the agency, the recently introduced amendment was scrapped in response to widespread criticism from the public.

Under the Section 12 of the regulations formulated to enable conduct the 2020 local council election safely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, members of political parties would receive clearance to travel to other islands for campaign purposes without having to observe quarantine, provided that the duration of the trip did not extend five days.

In addition to the public, several doctors and healthcare professionals criticised the allowance of travel between islands with community spread and islands without any confirmed active COVID-19 cases.

HPA initially introduced the amendment in response to some political parties lodging complaints at the Elections Commission (EC) regarding the lack of campaign opportunities.

Additional measures under the amendment

- Prohibition of door-to-door campaigns

- Campaign trips required clearance from HPA and island councils

- Individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms would be barred from travelling

- Placing houses under monitoring if campaigners are accommodated

- Campaigners prohibited from visiting cafe's and restaurants

- Prohibition of holding gatherings for welcome ceremonies

As per the amendment, any campaigner that failed to adhere to the regulation would be subject to all typical quarantine measures following their first infraction.

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