COVID-19: No permits required from June 15 onwards

COVID-19: No permits required from June 15 onwards

The Maldives government has announced that no permits will be required for movements from June 15 onwards.

Male' city was placed on lockdown on April 15 after the first case of local COVID-19 transmission was identified in the capital. While some eases were granted on the restrictions on May 28, the lockdown measures are to remain in place until June 15.

The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on Thursday announced restrictions will be eased significantly from June 15. In this regard, outdoor exercise will be allowed for individuals between 6pm and 9pm. Movement of children accompanied by an adult will also be allowed from 4pm to 6pm. The elderly can go out for walks between 5am and 8am. However, gatherings of more than three persons will not be allowed in public places and spaces.

Parks and open spaces will once again be opened on June 15, and all retail services will be resumed for walk-in customers from 9 am to 9 pm. However, dine-in customers at cafes and restaurants will not be allowed, and restaurants can offer delivery and takeaway service only, from 9 am to 11pm.

NEOC said movement to and from Male' City will continue to remain restricted, although restrictions on movements to unaffected islands will be removed. The date on which prayer congregations can be resumed in mosques will be announced at a later date.

While the lockdown imposed in Male' city will remain in place for an additional three days, NEOC said the number of permits issued to go outside will be increased in that period. The centre described the three-day extension as a 'practice' for the new normal.

NEOC further announced that schools and universities and tourism and mosques will be opened from July onwards. Gyms, cafes, restaurants, salons and spas can also resume services.

The Maldives has recorded 1976 COVID-19 cases thus far, out of which more than half have now recovered.