Maldives bans entry of cruise ships over COVID-19 fears

maldives (vcg).jpg

(Photo: VCG)

The Maldivian government said on Friday that it had banned the entry of cruise ships following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in several countries.

Local media quoted Health Minister Abdulla Ameen as saying that entry permits will only resume once the status of the outbreak changes to become more positive.

The decision to ban entry comes at a time when cruise ship arrivals to the Maldives have increased, the local media reported. According to statistics from Maldives Immigration, 15 cruise ships docked in the Maldives last month and 19 cruise ships arrived in the island nation in December 2019.

Minister Ameen said last week that Health Protection Authority (HPA) screened 4,594 people on board three cruise ships. Thermal cameras have been installed in all entry points and people arriving in the Maldives are currently being screened for any symptoms.

The Maldivian government has been taking strict measures to mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 as the island country receives over a million tourists every year.