Establishments to be closed for 24 hours if HPA rules are violated

A server, donning a face mask and gloves, serves water in a Cafe' in Male' area. | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives — The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has informed that under the mass inspection, they have decided to close the establishments that violate the guidelines of HPA for 24 hours instead of fining them.

While speaking at the news conference that was held last night, the Director of HPA, Ahmed Nazim mentioned that they have brought changes to the inspection method.

He detailed that the previous inspection method was to send a notice for a maximun of two times if the place is violating HPA rules and impose a fine it if they are still not adhering to the rules after the notices, however, the new method states that instead of fining the establishment, they have decided to close down the place for 24 hours for violating the guidelines of HPA.

He informed that the agency has noticed that there are employees of food & beverage establishments who violate the mandatory mask rule at work along with some of the customers that arrive to the establishments as well.

This is why, Nizam noted that from now onwards, if an individual is seen violating the mandatory mask rule, then instead of fining their work place, the individual themselves will be fined for violating the rules. On this note, he mentioned that they will no longer be closing down the establishments if an individual is seen violating the rules.

Due to the new rising Covid-19 surge in Male’ city, the strict guidelines of HPA has once again been imposed with the food & beverage establishments to only be opened for dine-in services until 20:00. After this the establishments are instructed to proceed with either take-away or delivery services. Along with this, the cafes, hotels, restaurants and canteens can only carry out deliver services until 22:00 in Male’ city.

The inspections are a joint effort by HPA, Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA), Male’ City Council, the Ministry of Economic Development, Maldives Police Service, Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC), Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO).