The face mask mandate that came into force in the Maldives in February 2021 has been dissolved.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed this at a press conference on Sunday evening, where Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru and HPA Communicable Diseases Division Chief Dr Fathmath Nazla Rafeeq have announced a number of relaxations to strengthen health and safety. restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 across the island nation.

This came shortly after President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced that the nationwide state of health emergency declared on March 12, 2020 was dissolved effective March 13, 2022.

During the press conference, Dr Nazla revealed that even though face masks are no longer mandatory, the public should continue to use face masks where health services are provided, including staff, patients and visitors.

Additionally, residents of islands or areas with a Covid-19 positivity rate above 20% are still required to use face masks.

The public health authority then encouraged the public to continue using masks if they are considered high risk or have high risk people around them, when in public, if they shows symptoms, if attending large gatherings or events. crowds of people, while using public transport vehicles such as taxis, buses and ferries as well as during indoor activities and other places where public services are provided.

The changes were made following extensive analysis and monitoring of the situation surrounding the pandemic, currently.

Thus, among the key points taken into consideration when the state of health emergency was lifted, a little more than two years after its imposition, was the fact that the Covid-19 situation in most islands and regions s improves as well as the authorities’ success in keeping hospitalization and death rates lower.

In addition, the HPA revealed that a majority of the population has completed a primary vaccination, as the administration of booster doses continues to increase.

It was also revealed that the response to Covid-19 will continue in accordance with the “Covid-19 strategy” and that measures will be taken according to the current situation of Covid-19, even if the public health emergency has been revoked.

The president made the decision to make mask wearing mandatory in public spaces in July 2020, to help authorities control and contain the spread of the virus.

As such, everyone living in the inhabited islands of the Maldives was required to actually wear masks when out in public from February 7, 2021. In addition, authorities also imposed fines on anyone who violated the face mask mandate.