Health Protection Agency HPA says cafes and restaurants currently operating in the Greater Male' Area must close for dine-ins at 8:00 pm as part of the restrictive measures taken against the COVID-19 pandemic.

HPA said in an announcement that eateries in the capital city must close their doors for dine-in customers by 8:00 pm starting next Saturday.

HPA also said that such establishments would be allowed to give takeaway and delivery service until 10:30 pm. HPA added that masks must be worn at all times except while eating.

This comes as authorities fight to control the rampant COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the Greater Male' Area where 145 people tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday alone.

HPA had said that the new cases had taken the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the country to a staggering 19,346.

HPA confirmed that 16,838 had recovered from the illness including the 190 that recovered from the pandemic yesterday.

But HPA said that 2441 remained as active cases of COVID-19 across the country and that 162 COVID-19 patients had been hospitalized for further treatment.

The Pandemic had killed 60 people in the country since April and 9 of them had this month as the country rides the worst COVID-19 wave since the pandemic first reached its shores.

Authorities had been tightening the restrictive measures in a bid to deter the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic but so far is yet to quell the third wave of the on-going pandemic.

These measures include a vehicular ban and a curfew in the Greater Male' Area while HPA had made it mandatory to wear masks in public in all parts of the country.