Maldives Covid-19 lockdown easing to begin from Thursday.
Health Minister Abdulla Ameen revealed this at a press conference on Wednesday night.
Noting that phase one of lockdown easing will begin on Thursday, the minister said that they estimate the phase to last for two weeks. Details of other phases are to be revealed after assessing the country’s situation after these two weeks.
However, if the country’s situation is seen to worsen with the first two weeks, the city will go back to “a full lockdown”.
Ameen said that the first phase includes ease in permissions for leaving homes, and an easier process to allow commercial businesses to open and operate.
Malé City has been on lockdown following the detection of a community spread on April 15. While this has been extended several times, the last extension is to end on May 28.
While only one individual from each household is given permits to leave homes for one hour during lockdown, the first phase will allow more people to go out during phase one and for a longer duration.
Some shops will also be opened during the first phase including supermarkets, bakeries, small shops, bookshops and hardware stores.
Mobile and electronic shops as well as garment, cosmetic shops and local businesses will be allowed to operate online.
The fish market will also be opened in this phase, as well as some clinics.
While public transportation will not be allowed, taxis and pickup services will be available during phase one. Cafés and restaurants can conduct deliveries during the first week, while takeaways will also be allowed from week two.
Banks services are to be increased during the phase as well; banks will be opened for three days in the first week and extended to five from the second.
Private offices will be allowed to reopen after approval from the Ministry of Economic Development.
Authorities do not plan to allow room for public gatherings during the first phase. Hence, parks and beaches will remain closed, as well as cafés, restaurants, gyms, salons, resorts, guesthouses and sports and recreational spaces. Current procedures for travel between islands will remain, with those that wish to travel from the capital to be quarantined for a 14-day period prior to being allowed to do so.