HPA revokes guideline allowing travel without quarantine for council campaigns

MDP campaign event carried out against HPA guidelines. Many have pointed out that the law enforcement authorities keep turning a blind eye to the violations of HPA guidelines when made by the ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) | Photo: Twitter

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

According to HPA the decision to allow travel to islands without having to quarantine was revoked due to the concerns raised by the public amid fears of Covid-19 spreading more due to it.

HPA had earlier released a guideline stating that 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.

In addition to this, candidates traveling for the purpose of campaign were mandated to have 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 had to carry authorization and the PCR negative test as applied to the candidate.

The local council election is scheduled to be held on the 10th of April. Candidates, especially the oppositions have heavily criticized the authorities for not allowing ease in traveling for campaigns, citing the difficulty in campaigning online.