The festival is a celebration of the river Sindhu which is also referred to as the Indus river.
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The Maldives has announced that it's placing a ban on travellers from South Asian countries, including India, in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases. From May 13, visas for tourists from India will be halted temporarily.
The Maldives Immigration released a statement in a post on Twitter that stated, “Temporary suspension for tourists and all other categories of visa holders originating from South Asian countries.”
"Effective from May 13, 2021, entry is temporarily suspended for tourists originating from South Asian countries. This restriction also applies to the tourists transited in South Asian countries for the past 14 days. Following this precautionary measure, all categories of visa holders originating from South Asian countries (except healthcare professionals with a valid work permit) are temporarily restricted to enter Maldives, until further notice,” the statement reads.
@HPA_MV announces temporary suspension of tourist visas for those travelling from South Asian countries to #Maldives. This safety measure is to be effective from 13th May 2021. We regret any inconveniences caused.— Ministry of Tourism (@MoTmv) May 11, 2021
The Indian Ocean archipelago’s Health Protection Agency stated, “Effective from May 13, 2021, entry is temporarily suspended for tourists originating from South Asian countries. This restriction also applies to the tourists transited in South Asian countries for the past 14 days. Following this precautionary measure, all categories of visa holders originating from South Asian countries (except healthcare professionals with a valid work permit) are temporarily restricted to enter the Maldives, until further notice.”
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The decision was taken due to the second wave of the pandemic in India and the increase in cases in other countries in the region.
A night curfew has been imposed in parts of Maldives and congregational prayers in mosques have been halted for the time being. Restaurants are only allowed to serve takeaways and physical classes at universities have been put on hold.
The restriction on the citizens of Maldives is expected to remain in place for over a week.
Indian tourists who are currently in the Maldives will require to make the necessary travel arrangements to return to India. Other countries included in the list, apart from India, are Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
Until April, Indians had the privilege to beat the summer heat by taking a vacation to the Indian Ocean archipelagos although the travellers were only allowed to visit those island resorts of Maldives which are not inhabited.
In February 22, the Maldives had recorded 5,100 tourists, the highest number in a single day in 2021.
The island nation has been a major attraction for celebrities and other tourists from India and was among the very few destinations abroad that were open to Indian tourists right now.
India has been the second largest source market for Maldives this year accounting for 21 per cent of all arrivals. The islands have received over 400,000 tourists since start of January. Russia has been the biggest source market followed by India, Ukraine, Germany and Kazakhstan.
Last month, the Maldives government imposed curbs on Indian visitors by banning their entry on populated islands. However Indians could still visit the resorts. The second wave of pandemic however led to drop of traffic from India resulting in flight cancellations by Indian carriers.
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