Maldives has imposed a ban on travellers from all South Asian countries from May 13, Thursday, as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. In a statement issued on Wednesday, entry has been temporarily suspended for tourists originating from South Asian countries, originating from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Additionally, this also applies to travelers who travelled to South Asian countries, even in transit for the past 14 days. With this change, all categories of visa holders originating from South Asian countries are now temporarily restricted to enter Maldives, until further notice. However, healthcare professionals with valid work permits are exempted from this. Healthcare professionals are required to hold a RT-PCR negative result with a sample taken 96 hours prior to their departure to the Maldives and undergo home quarantine for 14 days. They also require a negative PCR test result before they are released from quarantine. Moreover, all inbound travelers from other countries or regions are obliged to hold a PCR negative result with a sample taken 96 hours prior to their departure from the first port of embarkation en-route to the Maldives, effective from May 3 2021, even if vaccinated. Maldives is a popular holiday destination for many in India, and several celebrities had flown down there in the past two months for a short getaway. Many of the celebrities had shared pictures of their holidays in Maldives. Recently, the Bengaluru FC football team was asked to leave Maldives after a breach of COVID-19 rules. Maldives' Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof did not describe the nature of the breach but termed the Bengaluru team’s behaviour as "unacceptable" and said that the club has to leave Maldives "immediately." On May 6, the Maldives' Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) had declared that the island nation is experiencing the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic after daily infections broke the local record for four consecutive days.