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PCR tests mandated for travel out of Greater Male' Area

Lamya Abdulla
10 January 2022, MVT 11:16
A health worker taking a sample from a child to test for Covid-19 in the Social Center on January 10, 2022 -- Photo: Fayaz Moosa/ Mihaaru
Lamya Abdulla
10 January 2022, MVT 11:16

Health Protection Agency (HPA) makes negative PCR test results mandatory to travel outside of the Greater Male' Area to other local islands due to a surge in Covid-19 cases from Monday onwards.

The announcement made on Sunday said that this change was implemented as the weekly positivity rate for Greater Male' Area have increased to five percent. As such travel out of Male', Vilimale', and Hulhumale' will be require a negative PCR test.

Prior to this change, travel from the Male' area did not require a negative PCR test if the destination's population had an inoculation rate of over 90 percent. This change came into affect as of September 2021.

HPA tweets regarding travel options available due to the change in rules

When travel restrictions were loosened then, a negative PCR test was required only if an individual was travelling to an island that was put under monitoring status due to community spread in the islands.

However, as of today, a PCR test that was taken within a 72 hour period is required to travel. This rule is applicable to people that have received two doses of the Covid vaccine as well.

People that had not completed both doses of the Covid vaccine will be required to quarantine for 14 days. A negative PCR test will be required at the end of the quarantine so that they may leave quarantine. Children travelling with unvaccinated people will not have to quarantine.

While traveling from Male', Hulhumale' and Villimale' to other islands, the negative result will have to be input to the COVID Safe Portal. Those who need to be quarantined must obtain permission from the "Health Care Portal" prior to travelling.

Gatherings over 50 people prohibited

An additional precautionary step taken by HPA was to ban mass gatherings of over 50 people in the Greater Male' Area. The agency called to halt all ceremonies, and other events to adhere to this change.

HPA reminded all parties to adhere to the precautionary steps in place if one were to hold gatherings with up to 50 people.

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