HPA moves up date on which eases for vaccinated locals, work permit holders come into effect

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has moved up the date on which new COVID-19 protocols that grant ease to fully vaccinated locals and work permit holders come into effect.

HPA on Wednesday announced vaccinated locals and work permit holders will not be required to quarantine if they have completed the full dose of any COVIiD-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Furthermore, those who have recovered from COVID-19 can enter the country without needing to quarantine if 60 days have not passed since their sample tested positive. Children accompanying individuals from both categories will not be required to quarantine but will need to undergo a PCR test 5-7 days from arrival in the Maldives. However, unvaccinated local travelers and work permit holders will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine upon their return to the Maldives and will be released only after a PCR test confirms they are negative for COVID-19.

Although the initial directive issued by HPA said the new protocols will come into effect from July 26, the authority, in an updated announcement issued on Thursday, said the protocols will now come into effect on July 23 instead of July 26. Therefore, Wednesday's announcement is now void.

All travelers must present a PCR negative test not more than 72-hours old upon arrival in the Maldives. All travelers must register on HPA's Haalubelun Portal and seek the required permits before embarking on their journey, said HPA.