Local guest houses of the Maldives will be opening from October 15 onwards.
The decision was made at a meeting held Monday night, which was attended by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Task Force officials.
AVAS has learnt that the government intends to allow for guest houses to resume operation by dividing them into different categories. Only guest houses located on islands that follow the necessary precautionary measures will be allowed to open. The details of the government’s decision will be announced by the Tourism Ministry, said a participant of the meeting.
The Maldives closed its borders to tourists on March 27 as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The borders were reopened on July 15 after a hiatus of more than three months. However, only resorts and safaris were allowed to resume operation and host tourists. Although authorities previously decided to reopen guest houses on August 15, the date was pushed back after the number of COVID-19 cases began increasing dramatically.
Guest House Association of Maldives (GAM) previously stated that the guesthouse sector has suffered a loss of US$ 30 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While over 600 guest houses are located across Maldives, the sector is a popular livelihood for locals.