President ratifies COVID-19 Special Measures Bill

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the COVID-19 Special Measures Bill.

The legislation had earlier been passed by the Parliament of the Maldives on September 6. The Act’s provisions set in place special guidelines to help the country’s recovery and resilience efforts relevant to the ongoing pandemic, COVID-19. It adds safeguards against the disease’s impacts by facilitating assistance to families struggling to access basic necessities, and by ensuring temporary shelter to those in need, among other precautionary measures to prevent homelessness.

In a similar vein, the Act sets guidelines on special leave policies for employees unable to perform their routine work-responsibilities due to COVID-19. Barring extraordinary circumstances, it prevents alterations being made to an employees’ status in response to the disease. The Act also includes mechanisms to ensure that the State can continue to provide all of its functions without interruption, despite the pandemic.

Once it becomes law, the Act’s provisions will become effective 60 days following the expiry of the current state of public health emergency enacted in response to COVID-19, or 60 days following the expiry of any state of emergency declared in relation to COVID-19.

Upon ratification the COVID-19 Special Measures Act has been published in the Government’s Gazette.