Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: Bizarre quarantine rule leaves Saudi-bound Indians stranded in Maldives

Web report/Dubai
Filed on May 15, 2021
Photo: Reuters

It was not clear whether the new rule is being enforced by the Maldives government or by the resorts.

An unusual quarantine rule has reportedly resulted in several Saudi-bound Keralites being stuck in transit in the Maldives.

The unexpected overstay in the island tourist country has even resulted in several of them losing jobs — not to mention, steep hotel bills.


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According to a report in The New Indian Express, the bizarre rule mandates that those staying in resorts or hotels in the Maldives can only leave once all occupants on the property test negative for the virus — and irrespective of whether the person who wishes to check out is Covid-positive or not.

It was not clear whether the new rule is being enforced by the Maldives government or by the resorts themselves in order to fleece transit passengers.

Several passengers from Kerala reportedly snapped up a special 'Saudi quarantine via Maldives' tour package offered by agencies, costing over Rs 1 lakh for two weeks of quarantine, food and PCR tests.

However, the queer rule has resulted in tourists being disallowed from boarding flights due to others on the same property testing positive for Covid-19 — even if they had no contact with the infected persons.


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According to the report, Kozhikode MP MK Raghavan has raised the issue with the Union External Affairs Ministry and Indian High Commissioner in the Maldives.

"Some of those stuck there had been allowed to go after they questioned the new rule. It meant the rule is a flexible one. Hence, immediate diplomatic interference is needed to save our people suffering in the Maldives," the MP said in his letter.

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