Tourism Ministry has revealed that 43 tourists stranded in the Maldives still remain in the country.
In a news brief held by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), Tourism Minister Ali Waheed said among the 43 tourists, 27 are accomodated at the Dream Facility established by the government in Olhuveli Fushi, and 16 are residing in Hulhumale’
Those who are residing in Hulhumale’ were holidaying on the tourism island Maafushi when lockdowns were initiated across the world as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. Those who are residing in Dream facility are tourists who were holidaying at various local resorts.
“Those who are in Hulhumale’ were holidaying in Maafushi. Even though three months have passed, they are unable to return to their own country. Since they are unable to manage expenses on their own, the government is managing their expenses. Those who are residing in Dream Facility were relocated there on the condition that they or their respective countries bear the expenses. However, the government is now bearing their expenses since they are unable to manage on their own. In this pandemic, the Maldives has shown compassion for the foreigners as well”, said Minister Ali Waheed.
Several countries have closed their borders after declaring public health emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic. The Maldives closed its borders in March and all resorts were temporarily shut down following the declaration of the public health emergency on March 18, and the capital Male’ region was placed on lockdown on April 15. However, the country is now preparing to revert to normalcy after placing ‘new normal’ protocols, and will reopen its borders on July 15. The government has been easing lockdown measures in phases since late May.