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Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has stated guesthouses in the Greater Male’ Region will stay closed until the spread of COVID-19 is controlled in the capital.
In an online press conference held to disseminate information regarding the decision to reopen guesthouses on October 15, the tourism minister said guesthouses in Male’, Villimale’ and Hulhumale’ will not be permitted to reopen on October 15. The minister said Health Protection Agency (HPA) has advised to keep guesthouses in the capital closed until the number of COVID-19 cases reported on a daily basis is controlled. However, he noted permitted guesthouses in the Greater Male’ Region can be operated as transit hotels in the meantime.
Tourism Minister Mausoom also shared information of the guidelines which must be followed by guesthouses upon reopening. As such, the minister noted guesthouses and the respective island councils must fulfill certain safety conditions set by the ministry in order to receive permission to resume operations. He also noted island councils must pass the decision to reopen any guesthouses in the island, after seeking the opinion of residents.
The tourism minister stated guesthouses are required to provide a health and safety plan, which includes measures taken for social distancing and a specification of the amount of PPE and first aid equipment available in the facility. Staff are required to wear a certain uniform along with a mask, and must install the app TraceEkee to facilitate contact tracing.
The tourism ministry has planned to conduct a series of webinars to provide information of the guidelines on reopening guesthouses.