Maldives implements a temporarily nationwide shutdown of guesthouses for 14 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference, Tourism Minister Ali Waheed announced that no tourist will be allowed to check-in to any guesthouse or city hotel in the country from 17th March 6pm, local time.
Health Protection Agency (HPA) has previously announced a temporary ban on tourists checking into hotels and guesthouses within the greater Male’ (Male’, Villimale’, Hulhumale) area for 14 days.
Maldives has over 600 guesthouses operating nationwide.
Guesthouse Association of Maldives (GAM) has started a survey to observe the impact of COVID-19 on the guesthouse industry. This survey is said to include current occupancy, forecast, cancellation, impacts and how GAM could lobby in this situation.
With the travel bans in effect from China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran, parts of South Korea, Spain, and certain regions of Germany and France, tourist arrivals to Maldives has decreased tremendously. This has a major impact on the guesthouses.
COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by WHO, and there have been 13 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Maldives. The government has been taking several precautionary measures, against the disease including temporarily closing of schools and colleges.