The Education Ministry has urged students and teachers vacationing outside of their home island to return back as soon as they can.

The caution from the ministry comes as the number of cases being reported in the country has increased over the last few days especially in the Greater Male' Area.

The Ministry said in a statement that it gives the highest priority to ensure that schools remain open for sessions as long as they can and hoped that all students and teachers would be able to attend when the schools reopen for the second term next week.

The Ministry noted Health Protection Agency HPA's new guideline on traveling and urged all students and teachers vacationing away from their islands to return home as soon as they can. The Ministry also urged them to abide by HPA's guidelines and acquire a negative PCR result when traveling from the capital city of Male'.

HPA had said under the new travel rules, individuals who have completed two doses of the COVID vaccine must submit a negative PCR result prior to traveling from the Greater Male' Area and that the test must not be older than 72-hours.

It further said that those who have not completed their vaccine doses must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine after traveling from the capital and can only be released from the quarantine after presenting a negative PCR test.

HPA said that children who are ineligible for the COVID vaccine would be exempted from the quarantine rule.

The Agency urged travelers to use the 'COVID Safe' portal to present the negative PCR result and the 'Haalubelunn' portal to make quarantine arrangements.