The government of the Maldives announced on Friday, June 12, that the 22:00 to 05:00 (local time) curfew in the Greater Male area has been extended until June 26. However, the requirement to apply for movement permits for travel outside of the curfew times will be removed from Monday, June 15, amid a phased easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Other elements of the extensive lockdown in the capital will also be eased from Monday, including movement restrictions within Greater Male, and the reopening of parks and public places. Some shops will also be allowed to reopen, while restaurants and cafes will be able to provide a takeaway and delivery service.
Stricter restrictions remain in place for children and the elderly within the capital, with time outside limited to 16:00 to 18:00 and 05:00 to 08:00 respectively. Outdoor exercise also remains restricted to the hours of 18:00 to 21:00 and public gatherings of more than three people banned. The wearing of face masks and adherence with social distancing measures is mandatory in public places.
While travel restrictions have been lifted for islands with no confirmed COVID-19 cases, travel to and from the capital and other areas with active cases remains restricted. The country's COVID-19 state of emergency will also remain in effect until June 29.
As of Friday, June 12, there have been 1976 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Maldives, with eight associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantine measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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