The government has revised COVID-19 guidelines such that a negative PCR test is not required to travel to some islands.
According to current guidelines, a negative PCR test is mandatory if traveling to an inhabited island.
Speaking at a press conference held Thursday, the Spokesperson of the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC), Dr. Fathmath Nazla Rafeeq said the revised guidelines will come into effect on September 1. Giving details on the new changes, Dr. Nazla said the population eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will soon be revised to those above 12 years instead of above 18 years, and the revised age threshold will come into effect on September 1. Dr. Nazla said a PCR test will not be required if an individual is traveling to an island where over 90 percent of those above the age of 12 have received the COVID-19 vaccine and if the island's positivity rate is below 5 percent of the local population. If the island has guesthouses, 90 percent of those above the age of 65 as well as 90 percent of employees at tourism establishments must have received the vaccine, she added.
If a person is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but has not received the vaccine wishes to travel between islands with COVID-19 cases, such individuals will be required to quarantine upon arrival at their destination, said Dr. Nazla. They must undergo a PCR test before they are released from quarantine, and the test charges will have to be borne by the individual, effective from September 1. Therefore, the public is urged to complete the full vaccine doses at the earliest, said Nazla.