The Ministry of Tourism has temporarily suspended the operating license of an additional guesthouse in the Greater Male’ area on Sunday for failing to follow COVID-19 guidelines established by the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
According to a tweet from the tourism ministry, the guesthouse was penalized during the ongoing inspection for compliance with hosting guests from South Asia and according to COVID-19 rules. During the inspections, the tourism ministry said on Saturday that it had suspended three guesthouse licenses and issued warnings to three other guesthouse operators.
According to the 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.
The tourism ministry gives tourists staying in such guesthouses the choice of moving their stay to a resort or returning to their country.
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. Starting next month, the government is also working to allow South Asian visitors to stay in local guesthouses.