Maldives remains on UK red list due to inability to meet genomic sequencing requirement: HEOC

During a drill held by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) regarding Covid-19. | Photo: One Online.

Malé, Maldives – HEOC states that Maldives remains on the UK travel red list after the inability to meet the genomic sequence testing requirement.

Local news Avas reports citing the Director General of Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) Thasleema Usman that the UK requires genomic sequencing to determine the Covid-19 variants present in every country, and Maldives is currently attempting to clear this requirement.

The UK travel lists are based on a four stage process.

The first stage itself determines the variants, since variants indicate the transmissibility, how ill people are and resistance to vaccines or vaccine immunity.

Secondly, the countries are ‘triaged’, or assessed more closely based on set standards.

Lastly, the evaluations are conferred to ministers who take into account the vaccination information, travel routes and other information before making a decision.

Currently, UK categorizes countries based on the pandemic situation with green, amber and red lists.

Travellers from the red list countries, including Maldives, will need to quarantine for 10 days in the UK, and undergo Covid-19 testing on the 2nd and 8th days. There will also be a surge in the costs starting 12 August for people over 13 years of age. Arrangements may be made for individuals who cannot afford to pay for facilities.

At present, Maldives has procured enough vaccine doses to inoculate the entire eligible population with two doses and have vaccinated 364,064 residents with the first dose, 298,328 with the second dose.