Business hours for local cafes', restaurants extended

Authorities have increased the operational hours for local cafes and restaurants.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) earlier restricted the number of hours cafes and restaurants are allowed to operate as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

An announcement issued by the Director General of Public Health, Maimoona Aboobakuru said cafes will be allowed to operate until 10:30pm. The change was brought after a revision to the curfew hours imposed on the Greater Male’ Area, which was shortened from 11pm to 5am instead of 10pm to 5am. Cafes’ were instructed to close by 9:30pm when the previous 10pm curfew was in place.

The largest losses were faced by the service industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While all cafes’, restaurants and hotels were closed during the first weeks of the pandemic, the businesses were later allowed to operate with strict restrictions in place. A large number of cafes’ were temporarily shut down for violating HPA guidelines.