Maldives to reopen borders to S.Asian arrivals on July 15

Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih announced that the island nation will reopen borders to arrivals from South Asia on July 15, subject to an assessment of the Covid-19 situation in each country, local media reported on Wednesday.

Solih, in a public statement on Tuesday, said that the primary objective of his government is to restart the country’s economy amid the extended lockdown restrictions necessitated by the third wave of the pandemic that peaked in May, reports Xinhua news agency.

Solih said that the ongoing curfew hours would be reduced to 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting from Thursday.

All categories of businesses, including restaurants, gyms and salons, will be permitted to resume operations during non-curfew hours, he said.

Requirements for residents to carry a special pass while travelling during non-curfew hours will be stopped.

Mosques will be allowed to resume services under social distancing guidelines.

Individuals who have contracted and recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed to travel among islands without the need for mandatory quarantine.

In another important announcement, Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem told media on Tuesday that 200,000 doses out of 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine ordered from a Singaporean company will arrive in the country between July 12-20.

Naseem said that a non-disclosure agreement had been reached with a Russian company to acquire doses of Sputnik V, while negotiations are ongoing to acquire more vaccine doses from the US.

The Maldives Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency approval to seven brands of Covid-19 vaccines including AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm, Pfizer, Sputnik V, Moderna and Janssen.

Maldives’ vaccination program began on February 1.

The country has so far administered 316,704 people with the first dose of a vaccine, while 189,529 have been administered with two doses.

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