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General Information Phase I - Measures to ease lockdown

Measures to enforce lockdown and physical distancing have had a challenging impact on our daily routines and way of life. These measures will be eased in phases, to help the country gradually adapt to a new normal. Below are the detailed measures relevant to easing the lock-down during Phase 1, which will begin on May 29.


Easing lock-down

  • Phase 1 of easing the lock down will begin on 29 May 2020.
  • Household shopping is recommended to be limited to once a week.

General guideline

  • Highly recommended to wear masks in outdoor areas.
  • Mandatory to wear masks in service outlets (indoor,outdoor), shops, closed spaces and public gatherings
  • A disposable or cloth mask can be used.

Islands that do not have active cases of COVID-19

  • There are no restrictions on economic and social activities within the islands.
  • Unless instructed otherwise, travel between islands is not permitted.
    • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap or use a hand sanitizer to ensure your hands are clean.
    • Observe physical distancing of at least 3 feet.
    • Follow the official protective guidelines on COVID-19.

Control of activities within the Greater Male’ Region and other islands with COVID-19.

  • Use a mask while outside. Masks are mandatory in service outlets. (indoor and outdoor)
  • Individuals may continue to go out to access essential needs in Male’, Hulhumale’ and Villimale’ with a police permit (Three permits per household; each permit valid for 2 hours; permits will be issued twice per week)
  • A police permit will be issued to elderly persons above 60 years of age to go out for strolls between 5 am and 8 am.
  • Travel in and out of the Greater Male' Region is not permitted.
  • Travel between islands is not permitted. (health and social protection referrals are exempted)

Activities and gatherings

  • Personal or public gatherings are not permitted (for example: parties, family gatherings, congregational prayers)
  • Funeral services will continue as before.
  • Avoid visiting family members unless it is an emergency

Business activities

  • Essential businesses will be open to customers between 9 am and 9 pm, but with certain restrictions.
    • Wholesale and retail stores and supermarkets selling essential commodities
    • Pharmacies and drug stores
    • Baby product stores
    • Bakeries
    • Books and stationery stores
    • Hardware stores
  • Please follow the guidelines laid out by the Ministry of Economic Development to get permits to provide the above services. Applications for permit requests must be submitted to the Police permit portal.
  • Wearing masks are mandatory for all salespersons and customers
  • The number of customers in the store at any given time must be limited and physical distancing of at least 3 feet must be complied with at all times.
  • Cashless transactions are encouraged instead of cash exchanges
  • All surfaces frequently touched by the salespersons must be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned.
  • Any salesperson or customer who is ill must not be allowed into the place of business, while hand washing and sanitizer use must be maintained to ensure proper hand hygiene. Using the Delivery option is encouraged.
  • Non-essential businesses must only operate online and to provide delivery services. These are businesses that sell:
    • Mobile and computer products
    • Electronic products for homes
    • Textile, clothes, footwear and sports equipment
    • Cosmetics
    • Products made in the Maldives
    • Tailoring
  • The following services will be allowed to operate with restrictions:
    • Clearing agencies and delivery services
    • Construction companies
    • Automobile repair services
    • Mobile phones and electric products repair services
    • Workshops and garages
    • Household repair and maintenance workshop
    • Machineries and tools rental services
    • The guidelines laid out by the Ministry of Economic Development must be complied with by the above service providers.
    • Wearing masks are mandatory for individuals delivering items.
    • Physical distancing of at least 3 feet must be observed at the point of delivery.
    • Cashless transactions are encouraged instead of cash exchanges.
    • Disinfect and thoroughly clean surfaces that are frequently touched.
    • Keep a log of customers who have sought services.
    • Businesses registered to operate contingent on their compliance with protective measures against COVID-19, that wish for their staff to work from their office premises, may apply for the relevant permit at the Ministry of Economic Development ( for permits email to covid19_supplies@trade.gov.mv.) These offices must however not be opened for customer service.

Fish market

  • Only delivery services will be provided. They will continue to observe the current restrictions that were made applicable to them during the full lock-down.

Bank services – opened within limitations

  • Banks will be open for business three days a week
  • All individuals will be screened for their temperature upon entry.
  • The number of individuals allowed to enter the bank at any given time will be limited. Individuals must pay attention to maintain physical distancing of at least 3 feet.
  • While making appointments for services, physical distancing of at least 3 feet must be maintained in queues formed using the queue management system.
  • No more than 5 customers and bank clerks must be present in at any area at any given time.
  • Follow instructions on controlling infection (mask/shield, hand hygiene, cleaning surfaces that are touched)

Utility services

Utility services will be given permits, in accordance with the current practices in place. These include services that provide water, waste disposal, electricity, telecom, gas and cable services.

  • Water and electricity services
    • Only online services are available to pay bills.
    • New connections, surveys and inspections will be permitted within limits.
    • In providing these services, no more than five active staff should be present at the same time.
  • Maldives Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) services
    • Bills must be paid through online services.
    • New connections, survey and inspections will be permitted with restrictions.
    • Only two active roadwork projects may commence within any given day.
    • Emergency teams will be allowed to operate with the relevant permit.
    • Staff working for 12-hours shifts will be permitted to do so following a customer query update between the head office and the respective staff’s address.
    • Protection instructions against COVID-19 must be followed.

Cafés/restaurants

  • Only delivery services will be permitted.
  • Cashless transactions are encouraged instead of cash exchanges.

Taxi services

  • Taxi permits will continue to be issued as they are now. However, the following measures must be followed:
    • Masks are mandatory for taxi drivers and passengers.
    • Passengers must ensure hand hygiene.
    • A partition must be in place between the taxi driver and passengers.
    • Passengers must not be allowed on the front passenger seat.
    • Cashless transactions are encouraged to pay taxi fares instead of cash exchanges.
    • Passenger identification details must be logged. In that regard:
    • Use TraceEkee app (both taxi drivers and passengers must use this app). Or,
    • Passenger identification information must be logged by the taxi centre/taxi application at the point of booking. Or,
    • A daily log may be maintained by the taxi centres.
    • Taxi drivers must pay attention to clean/disinfect car doors following each ride.

Pickups and vans

The arrangements currently in place will continue. Accordingly,

  • Passengers may not travel in the driver’s compartment.
  • No more than two passengers may travel together in small pickups and vans.
  • No more than three passengers may travel together in large pick-ups and vans.

General public transportation services: Hulhumale’/Villimale’ ferry services

  • These services will continue with the current restrictions in place. Accordingly:
  • Only those given special permission to work will be allowed to use public bus services operating between Male’ and Hulhumale’ (During the first phase of easing lock-down, bus services are not open to the general public).
  • Ferry Services will continue as before
  • Masks are compulsory when using public transportation
  • Passengers must be seated with at least 3 feet distance between them. Seats will be marked to indicate this distance, and passengers must sit as these marks indicate.
  • Sanitizers will be provided to both passengers and crews.
  • Service providers will regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and seats.
  • General transportation system: Bus services within the Greater Male’ Region:
    • It is compulsory to wear a mask when traveling on the bus.
    • Passengers must be seated with at least 3 feet distance between them. Seats will be marked to indicate this distance, and passengers must sit as these marks indicate
    • Sanitizers will be provided to both passengers and crews.
    • Service providers will regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and seats.
    • If the bus windows can be opened, they should remain open.

Inter-Atoll Ferry Services

General passenger transportation services on ferries remain halted. However, special permits will be given to ferries transporting cargo to islands, contingent on the observation of strict safety conditions. These conditions include:

  • No crew working on ferries carrying cargo may disembark on islands.
  • The ferries must be operated in accordance with infection control measures.

Health-Services

Flu Clinics Established Due To COVID-19

  • An online consultation system will be made available for those wishing to use such services.
  • Online consultation will be made available for those in quarantine.
  • Clinics will be made open for in-person consultation.
  • It is to be ensured that all those in the waiting room are wearing a mask and keep 3 feet distance between one another.
  • It is to be ensured that masks and hand sanitizers are easily available to all sick persons visiting.

Treating Non-COVID-19-related Illnesses

  • Outpatient (OPD) specialist services will be enhanced across all hospitals and clinics.
  • The elderly will be prioritized in giving access to OPD specialists.
  • For those who absolutely require to be taken to hospital or clinic urgently, arrangements will be made to take them to the clinic or hospital for consultation with doctors.
  • Both hospital-based care and mobile-medical response team (MMRT) mechanisms to provide community medical-care will continue to operate as before.
  • Whilst waiting for results from general laboratory work and research services conducted in hospitals and clinics, the fewest possible number of people should stay in the waiting area, and must all maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet between one another.
  • Scans will be provided for those that are pregnant.
  • Specialist approval will be required for anyone on any island wishing to be taken to the hospital.

Mental Health services

  • For those needing treatment for mental health-related issues, convenient online consultation mechanisms will be arranged for them.

Praying in congregation in mosques in islands where there are no active / suspected COVID-19 cases

  • Permission to conduct prayers in mosques was provided on May 22.
  • The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has provided [guidelines] pertinent to the measures that are to be observed in mosques .
    During the first phase of easing restrictions, mosques will remain closed throughout the Greater Male’ Region and on islands where there are active cases of COVID-19.

Government Offices

  • Government offices may resume work from offices from 31st May to 11th June, restricted to essential tasks only.
    • After resuming office, the tasks to be carried out at work will be decided by the Minister or the head of that institution. Office work should only be resumed to attend essential and urgent tasks.
    • Offices are not allowed to resume in-office services to the public and public may not physically seek services at offices.
    • Offices may be opened on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 am in the morning to 1 pm in the afternoon.
    • It is highly recommended to continue providing services using online platforms and to allow employees to work from home wherever possible.
  • Offices to share the work to be done with Health Protection Agency
  • Wearing a mask will be compulsory for all employees attending work.
  • Employees who are either over 60 or has chronic health issues to be exempted from attending work.
  • Office entrances must have arrangements for temperature screening.
  • Offices must have facilities for washing hands and sanitization.
  • Frequently touched surfaces (lifts, staircase railings, toilets) must be thoroughly disinfected during each shift.
  • A minimum 3-foot distance should always be maintained between office staff.
  • Sharing laptops and stationary between persons should be limited. It is important that they are disinfected after each use.
  • A staff member tasked with ensuring that all the above precautions are complied with should be designated.

Private offices

  • Private offices will operate with restrictions. Accordingly:
    • Permission to open the respective office should be sought from the Ministry of Economic Development. (To apply for permission an email should be sent to covid19_supplies@trade.gov.mv.)
    • Paying special attention to the size of the office space, the number of employees who may attend work at the same time will be specified. That
  • Wearing a mask will be compulsory for all employees attending work.
  • Employees who are either over 60 or has chronic health issues to be exempted from attending work.
  • Office entrances must have arrangements for temperature screening.
  • Offices must have facilities for washing hands and sanitization.
  • Frequently touched surfaces (lifts, staircase railings, toilets) must be thoroughly disinfected during each shift.
  • A minimum 3-foot distance should always be maintained between office staff.
  • Sharing laptops and stationary between persons should be limited. It is important that they are disinfected after each use.
  • A staff member tasked with ensuring that all the above precautions are complied with should be designated.
  • If any staff develops a fever or presents with any symptom of a respiratory illness the office should inform HPA immediately.

Communal settings and dormitories

  • Sleeping arrangements for expatriate workers should adhere to the guidelines laid out by the Ministry of Economic Development. Maldivians should also comply with these measures.

Education centres

  • Schools will remain closed.
  • Higher education centres may hold classes online.

Salons and spas

  • Salons and spas will remain closed during the first phase of easing restrictions.

Sports and recreation

  • Sports related services will remain halted during this phase.
  • Gym-use, as well as indoor and outdoor sports are forbidden at this time.

Industrial work and workshops

  • Thilafushi Waste Management Centre will be opened with the following restrictions:
    • Those working on-site may not move from one site to another.
    • All travel to Thilafushi, besides to transport cargo, is forbidden.

Construction services

  • Construction work can commence upon the following conditions:
    • City Councils/Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will determine: the number of sites where construction work is permitted; the number of workers allowed on site; the days and times when construction work may commence; and whether to permit the construction work to continue once informed of the nature of the work.
    • New construction permits will not be issued.
    • Arrangements must be made for all laborers working on a particular site to stay within one location and they are to be permitted to travel only between their homes and respective work-site.
    • A special vehicle to transport the respective laborers to each particular work site should be arranged. Food should also be made available to them on-site.

Tourism

  • Resorts and guesthouses will remain closed. International and domestic airport
  • Both international and domestic air travel will remain halted throughout the first phase of easing restrictive measures.

Port of entry

  • Work can continue contingent on the observation of ongoing restrictions

Parks and social centres

  • Parks and social centres will remain closed.