HPA DG explains reason for restrictive measures in cafés & restaurants

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

Malé, Maldives – The Director General of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) of Maldives, Maimoona Aboobakr has explained the reason for strengthening the preventive measures put in place for cafés and restaurants with regards to Covid-19.

As such, Maimoona detailed in a meeting held by the Parliamentary Committee relating to Economic Affairs, that the decision had to be made as such locations carry a higher risk factor of spreading the virus.

The meeting, which was called for, due to the increasing damage incurred by local businesses amidst continued extension and strengthening of precautionary measures pertaining to Covid-19, had several key members of HPA in attendance.

During the meeting, Maimoona further explained that the degree of risk cafés and restaurants hold when it comes to the spread of the virus is higher than that of shops and highlighted that dine-in options in cafés and restaurants would require customers to remove their masks as well.

The risk still persists. What’s important is that everyone follows through with the set regulations. These measures were taken after categorizing risk levels. When looking at the matter from a risk based angle, the risk in cafés and restaurants is higher.

Maimoona Aboobakr, Director General, Health Protection Agency (HPA), Maldives

She also referred to the vaccination program currently ongoing in the Maldives, and stated that restrictive measures would be eased based on the vaccination percentage. However, she reminded that it is not known when the country would go back to the pre-Covid situation.

As Ramadan is around the corner, Maimoona stated that authorities are trying to provide some ease in restriction during this period and that efforts are underway to allow public ease as much as possible.

Although previous regulations for Malé area set forth by HPA mandated that cafés and restaurants close dine-in by 20:00, authorities now allow dine-in until 22:30.