Sri Lankan migrant workers in Maldives’ hospitality sector, many of whom have either been furloughed or laid off recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could benefit when the country reopens its borders on July 15, High Commissioner of Maldives has said.
According to the Prime Minister’s Media Division, High Commissioner Omar Abdul Razzak made these observations when he called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this morning.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa inquired about the well-being of Sri Lankans working in Maldives, pointing out that a majority of them are currently out of work as a result of the COVID-19 impact on the tourism industry in that country.
According to the Foreign Ministry, there are between 15,000 to 20,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers in Maldives. About 75% of those workers have been impacted due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
High Commissioner Razzak said that once Maldives reopens its borders in July, the Government expects the tourism sector to start returning to normalcy soon.
This could potentially have a positive impact on all migrant workers in Maldives, many of whom are working in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
So far, there have been seven repatriation flights from Maldives, bringing back a total of 1,388 Sri Lankans.
The High Commissioner also commended the Sri Lankan Government for its response to the pandemic.
“Maldivians are very impressed with the way the Sri Lanka Government has handled the pandemic. Maldivian nationals feel very safe here,” High Commissioner Razzak said.