The Health Protection Agency (HPA) decision to amend the guidelines set for the upcoming local council elections, allowing candidates to travel for their campaign without mandatory quarantine has received backlash from several people.
The guideline states that candidates travelling from Male’ or another region with active COVID-19 cases to islands without any reported cases can stay at an island for their campaign for a maximum of 5 days without quarantine. Candidates and their teams travelling for more than 5 days are required to undergo quarantine for 10 days.
Many have expressed their discontent regarding the revised guidelines. Some have claimed that this is unfair to employees working at resorts who are unable to visit their families because of strict mandatory quarantine requirements and such a leeway for politicians is proof that the government and HPA prioritize politicians over the public.
Ex-communications minister, Maleeh claimed that HPA has two guidelines, a strict guideline for the public and a less restrictive guideline for ministers and MDP activists.
The decision of HPA has come under a lot of scrutiny. HPA, however, stated that the revised guideline will not permit door-to-door activities, although rallies are permitted in an open space for a short duration.