Tourism Ministry suspends the operating license of three guesthouses that were illegally providing service to South Asian tourists on Saturday.
The ministry started a special inspection program to audit the compliance of hotels and guesthouses to the COVID management protocols set by Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Tourism Ministry on Saturday. As per protocol, tourists arriving from South Asian countries will not be allowed to stay in guesthouses till the end of July.
However, since the ministry found out three guesthouses in the Greater Male' Area had been accommodating tourists from South Asian countries, their operating license has been suspended. Three other guesthouses in the Male' area were cautioned.
The ministry did not disclose the details of the guesthouses that had gone against protocol.
Deputy Minister of Tourism Ministry Asad Riza had told Mihaaru news that their priority at the moment is to ensure the safety of Maldivian civilians living in inhabited islands. Therefore they will be ensuring guesthouses and other service providers adhere to the protocol.
The tourists that had entered Maldives to stay in guesthouses have been provided the option to change their stay to resorts. If they do not take the opportunity and change, they will have to leave the country.
Maldives reopened its borders to South Asian countries on July 15, after nearly two months of not issuing them VISA. However entry of 248 tourists were denied on Thursday because they had attempted to enter Maldives with false documents. Out of this, 168 tourists were from India.