The Ministry of Tourism revoked the operating licenses of three local guesthouses on Saturday for violating COVID-19 rules.
The tourism ministry announced in a tweet that the three guesthouses were penalized during the ongoing inspection for complying with hosting tourists arriving from South Asia and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. During the inspections, the tourism ministry reported that it issued warnings to three other guesthouse operators.
According to Health Protection Agency (HPA) guidelines, South Asian tourists are only permitted to remain in Greater Male’ area guesthouses for less than 48 hours before travelling to resorts, while guesthouses on residential islands are not permitted to accept South Asian tourists.
Deputy Tourism Minister Assad Riza stated that the guesthouses were checked after the ministry received reports of noncompliance. He further stated that the government has received multiple reports of South Asian nationals staying in Maafushi and Male’ City, and that many guesthouses are welcoming South Asian tourists.
He assured that the tourism ministry will continue inspections with the assistance of the Maldives Police Service to ensure that facilities follow COVID-19 guidelines.
The Maldives government suspended providing tourist visas to South Asian nationals on May 13 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, and resumed issuing tourist visas on July 15.