Male’, Maldives – The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has announced that PCR testing services for travelers will be available at six locations in capital Male’.
This comes after guesthouses in Male’ were allowed to reopen yesterday, and HPA guidelines mandate PCR tests to travel between domestic guesthouses and resorts. The guesthouses in Male are allowed to only serve either locals or tourists at a time.
HPA stated in twitter that PCR testing laboratories in the Grater Male’ Area are;
- Hulhumale Hospital
- ADK Hospital
- Tree Top Hospital
- MEdLAb Dianostics and
- RML Lab Services.
Guesthouse owners however, have expressed their concern over the price of these tests. Which range from USD 110 to USD 95, and have said many guests cancel their booking once they are informed of the test.
Testing prices for expat workers and locals are slightly lower, and prices vary greatly in other Maldivian atolls.
The Health Protection Agency has strict guidelines for islands with operating guesthouses, and only allow for such facilities to open if local councils guarantee that the island can follow these guidelines. These include establishing flu clinics, isolation facilities, enforcing a mandatory mask rule and discouraging travel to other islands.
In addition to this, posters indicating safety guidelines such as social distancing are also to be placed around the guesthouse and a certain amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must also be available at the premises. Staff are also required to have a special uniform for work and should be able to take a shower before returning home. The Tourism Ministry has also mandated it for locals of islands with operating guesthouses to wear masks in public.
While the island nation does not require tourists to go through quarantine or testing on arrival, all tourists are required to complete an online health declaration form given by the country and to also provide a negative PCR test result along with it. The PCR test must be taken at least 96 hours prior to departure.