Unlikely that Maldives will have to close borders a second time, says minister

Economic Minister and Acting Minister of Tourism, Fayyaz Ismail has stated that he does not believe that there would be a need to impose a lockdown on Maldives for a second time. Fayyaz made the statement while speaking at a ceremony held to mark the reopening of Maldives borders.

The tourism dependent island nation closed its doors to tourists on March 27 as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The country reopened its borders on Tuesday, and a special ceremony was held at Velana International Airport (VIA) to mark the occasion.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Fayyaz said the current state of the country is different to what it was in the initial stages of infection. All countries across the globe had initially attempted to prevent the virus from reaching their respective countries by taking stringent precautionary measures, said the minister. However, the situation today calls for all to adapt to the situation and take adequate measures to curb its spread. While this is the case, he does not believe there would be a future need to close the country’s borders because of the virus, said Fayyaz. However, if the relevant authorities instruct otherwise, the government would oblige, he asserted.

Fayyaz further said the reopening of the border brings hope during otherwise trying times and that the government would work to bring more tourists to the Maldives. However, all countries will want to assess the situation in Maldives, noted the minister.

The Maldives had 2,831 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date, out of which 482 are currently active. 14 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded