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HPA bans traveling from Malé to atolls for school holidays

Lamya Abdulla
06 June 2021, MVT 23:24
People leaving Male': travelling to islands for school break has been prohibited to control the spread of COVID19 -- Photo: Ahmed Awshan Ilyas/ Mihaaru
Lamya Abdulla
06 June 2021, MVT 23:24

As the end of the academic year is approaching, Health Protection Agency (HPA) has tightened the travel restrictions placed in order to control the spread of COVID-19.

HPA said travelling to administrative islands from the Greater Male' Area will only be allowed for essential purposes. In the announcement by HPA, it was stated that travelling to the islands for school holidays will not be considered as an "essential reason," and is therefore prohibited.

School holidays are set to start on June 27, extending all the way till August 10. With the new changes HPA made, travelling to the islands will not be allowed during this break.

The agency stated this change was brought to control the spread of COVID-19, especially since several islands outside of Male' are facing their own outbreaks at the moment.

Travelling to islands is only allowed for essential purposes. Anyone that travels to islands are required to quarantine for 14 days.

People allowed to travel to islands from Male' Area

Despite travelling to the islands from Male' area being prohibited for the school break, people are still allowed to travel for the following reasons:

- People that in Male for medical purposes and need to return, and people accompanying such people

- Those who have lost their jobs or have had their work halted and need to return to their islands as living in Male' is not financially feasible anymore

- People that have completed their education in Male'

Permits will be provided if a family medical emergency occurs, HPA said. These include one's parents falling ill or wife approaching childbirth.

To apply for the permit to travel to islands, "Haalu Belun Portal" can be used from Sunday onwards, HPA said. The documents required by the island council should be uploaded into the portal. Everyone travelling to islands will be required to to provide a negative PCR test after completing quarantine to be allowed to be in public spaces in the islands.

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