HPA allows travel without quarantine for Local Council Election campaign

Director General of Public Health Maimoona Abu Bakr | Photo: Ministry of Health

Male’, Maldives — The Health Protection Agency has announced that they will be bringing changes to the mandatory quarantine rule for those who are traveling across the Maldives as part of their campaign for the upcoming local council election.

While HPA stated that they will be releasing a special guideline to allow candidates to campaign without getting quarantined in atolls, HPA warned that if any candidate fails to adhere to their guidelines which dictates that such travel would only be allowed for a maximum period of five days, which if foregone, the candidate would have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period of 10 days.

Candidates traveling for the purpose of campaign must also hold a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours, along with necessary approvals from relevant authorities. Additionally, a listed group of five individuals are also allowed to travel with the candidate, all of whom also must carry authorization and the PCR negative test as applied to the candidate.

During their travel, the teams are mandated to make safe travel and living arrangements and are also required to report any signs of the virus immediately, if observed. The are also prohibited from observing door to door campaigns, shaking hands with members of the public, or going to places other than that of their dedicated campaign meeting venues. Such campaign meeting venues are required to have arrangements made, which allows all attendees to observe a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing.

The local council election is scheduled to be held on the 10th of April. Prior to this leeway by HPA, the candidates, specially the opposition heavily criticized the authorities for not allowing ease in traveling for campaigns, citing the difficulty in campaigning online. The current changes brought about are expected to remedy these complaints.