The President convened the National Taskforce on Resilience Building and Economic Recovery for their second meeting today, in order to discuss the Government’s plans to reopen the Maldives' borders to tourists. The President had previously made public the Government’s plans to reopen borders in July, in light of the Maldives’ continuing successes in bringing COVID-19 under control, and the necessity of reviving the national economy.
Tourism remains the Maldives’ most important economic sector and plans are underway to restart this industry in a safe manner that will not compromise the gains the country has made in the fight against the coronavirus. The Ministry of Tourism prepared guidelines relevant to how this can be achieved, which were presented yesterday at the Taskforce’s inaugural meeting.
The provisions of the guidelines were discussed in greater depth today. Members of the three working groups comprising the Taskforce – the working group on finance, the working group on economic recovery, and the working group on the social sector – gave their input to the President regarding the document’s proposals. Items discussed included ensuring testing-capacity, putting in place precautionary social-distancing and isolation measures at resorts, and general safety measures tourists and resort-staff should follow.
Following discussions it was collectively agreed to bring some changes to the document. A constant theme throughout the meeting was the necessity of ensuring the health, safety and security of visitors, Maldivian citizens, and resident expatriates, as borders are reopened.