President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced that the country will move to a new phase in the fight against Covid-19, from July 1.
While Maldives’ capital region was placed under lockdown following the confirmation of a Covid-19 community transmission on April 15, authorities began lockdown easing on May 29.
A new phase of the lockdown ease plan will start on July 1, according to the president, which allows the reopening of government offices, as well as businesses such as shops, cafés and restaurants.
Government offices and institutions were closed on March 19, and were reopened partially after nearly two months. Shops, cafés and restaurants were closed in March as well. While they were allowed to open for deliveries with a special permit from police even during lockdown, cafés and restaurants were opened for deliveries in the first week of lockdown easing while takeaways have been allowed from week two.
In addition, mosques in the greater Malé region will also be opened for congregational prayers, from Wednesday. While congregational prayers were suspended due to the measures imposed following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Islamic Ministry has since announced safety measures to be followed when reopening mosques. Further, authorities decided to allow prayer gatherings in islands with no Covid-19 restrictions in late May.
President Solih also announced that the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC)’s Covid-19 operations will cease from July 1. During a visit to NEOC on Monday night, he revealed that its operations will be shifted to the Ministry of Health under the new phase.
During his visit, Solih thanked the many staff based at NEOC for working tirelessly to coordinate the government’s response to the pandemic.
In a tweet sent on Tuesday, the president expressed gratitude to to all those who worked on the frontlines, including healthcare professionals and various government agencies and volunteers, for going “beyond the call of duty” to successfully manage this pandemic and avert worst case projections.
The country is set to reopen borders on July 15. While resorts are to be allowed to reopen the same day, work is underway to reopen guesthouses on August 1.