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Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed has expressed hope to resume tourism operations in the Maldives in the third quarter of the year.
Speaking on a programme aired on CNN, the tourism minister said there are major obstacles to resuming tourism operations in the Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister said discussions are underway with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on ways to resume tourism in the country, based on how much the spread of COVID-19 is controlled. He expressed hope to resume tourism operations in the Maldives during the third quarter of the year.
The minister further stated tourism will be resumed in the Maldives after ensuring the safety standards of UNWTO are in place in resorts and airports. He added the research which is currently ongoing on ways to resume tourism, will be submitted to the cabinet and the parliament within this month.
Maldivian borders were closed for tourists in March due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. The tourism ministry states there are currently about 500 tourists stranded in the country, whose expenses are covered by the government.