The Ministry of Tourism has approved to resume operations for 38 guesthouses outside of the greater Malé region.
Statistics publicized by the ministry show that 38 guesthouses across residential islands have been given the green light to resume operations by October 26. They are located in 10 islands across four atolls.
Guesthouses allowed to resume operations are located in Fodhdhoo island of Noonu atoll, Huraa island in Kaafu atoll, Maafushi island in Kaafu atoll, Guraidhoo island in Kaafu atoll, Mathiveri island in Alif Alif atoll, Ukulhas island in Alif Alif atoll, Thoddoo island in Alif Alif atoll, Thinadhoo island in Vaavu atoll, Fulidhoo island in Vaavu atoll and Rasdhoo island on Alif Alif atoll.
39 guesthouses in the capital region are also currently in operation.
Guesthouses across the Maldives were closed on March 17, following the coronavirus outbreak. A few tourist establishments were given the green light to operate in the greater Malé region to accommodate transit passengers and flight crew.
It was revealed that guesthouses and tourist establishments across the epicenter, Malé region would remain closed due to spiraling Covid-19 cases. Guesthouses in the region will be given the green light to resume operations once the situation simmers down and the positive rate is maintained well below five percent for a 28-day period, authorities earlier revealed.
As guesthouse operations have commenced, the prerequisites outlined by the public health authorities must be met, to ensure the safety and security of both tourists and island communities.
The government earlier publicized guidelines to be followed upon reopening of guesthouses, after discussions with island councils, guesthouse owners as well as industry professionals.
The guidelines include a number of restrictions, in light of which guesthouse operations will not be the same as before the global Covid-19 pandemic surfaced, stressed Assad.
Under the guidelines, tourist guesthouses will not be allowed to operate in houses or buildings where locals reside, there must be a designated isolation location for mild positive cases among staff and tourists, away from local residents and there must be a designated place for quarantine of contacts among staff and tourists, away from locals as well. It was earlier established that guesthouses must facilitate quarantine and isolation locations in case the need arises.