The Maldives has tightened travel restrictions after recording one of the world’s fastest growing Covid-19 outbreaks.

The country has stiffened its curfew requiring residents of Male, to stay indoors from 4pm, until 4am for a week. Other restrictions include a ban on group prayers at mosques, halting physical classes at universities and limiting restaurants to takeaways. Furthermore, there will be a temporary suspension of visas for tourists from India and other nations in South Asia from May 13. 

Over the past few months, the nation of islands had become very attractively priced for Indians and one of the few destinations allowing easy entry for Indians. This worked for the Maldives and Indians became the second-highest number of arrivals in the Maldives, accounting for 21 per cent of the 400,000 tourists who arrived since the start of 2021. 

With the second wave of Covid-19 in India, Maldives has joined the list of countries that have suspended visitors from India. At first, the country barred Indians from inhabited islands of the Maldives. Now, there is a full-scale ban on travellers from South Asia arriving in the Maldives.

The Health Protection Agency of Maldives said in Twitter postings that starting May 13, tourist visas for tourists travelling from South Asian countries will be temporarily halted.

Starting 13th May, tourist visas for tourists traveling from South Asia countries will be temporarily halted.

Health Protection Agency (@HPA_MV) May 11, 2021

South Asia, per the Maldives, includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. At present, there is no clarity as to how long this ban will be for.

On May 8, 2021, Maldives also barred the entry of Work Permit Holders from South Asia. The Maldives is battling a covid spread of its own, unfortunately at this time.

As of Monday, the Maldives had the most new cases per 100,000 people in the past five, seven and 14 days. There was an increase in active cases from 4,978 to 11,629 on May 11. So far, around 36.6% of the population of over 500,000 have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines.


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