Senior Executive Director at the Ministry of Tourism, Ali Razzan has cautioned that resorts should only clear employees for work after having received a negative test result for Covid-19 at the end of their quarantine period.
Razzan said this while speaking at Sunday's Covid-19 press conference, following the recent increase in cases detected from resorts, mostly staff members.
Noting that despite having managed to maintain the number of positive cases being reported in tourists visiting the Maldives at a manageable level, he said cases detected from resorts continue to increase since the start of the year.
He stressed that these cases were being reported among resort staff as opposed to inbound tourists like before, and that while only a few resorts were reporting cases of Covid-19 at a time, this is due to failure in implementing public health safety measures.
As such, he cautioned that resorts should only clear employees for work after they have completed the mandatory quarantine period of 10 days, and that no employee should be forced to work without having received a negative test result for Covid-19 at the end of their quarantine period.
In addition to this, Razzan said that contact tracing of a Covid-positive employee by HPA and resort medical teams usually yielded many contacts. Following this, the individual confirmed with the infection will be placed into quarantine, while their contacts are administered Covid-19 tests without delay.
The tourism ministry official also warned that travel to and from resorts would be discontinued if the number of positive cases on the island increased to a disproportionate degree. At this point, the island would be placed under monitoring as it would have been deemed an unsafe place to provide services to tourists during a pandemic.
Further, Razzan highlighted the many difficulties currently being faced by resorts and travel agents due to bookings that have to be diverted as some islands are being deemed unsafe due to the increasing number of positive Covid-19 cases.
Razzan also said that the number of cases being reported among resort employees in the past were fewer because of greater corporate and personal responsibility in implementing health and safety guidelines. He implored resorts to take Covid-19 regulations seriously, and recommended that resort workers check themselves for flu-like systems every day, in addition to resort medical facilities performing random symptom-checks on employees. Razzan stressed the importance of seeking out a Covid-19 test as quickly as possible at the onset of flu-like symptoms, to prevent widespread transmission of the virus in operational resorts.