A series of political protests have erupted in the Maldives ‘ capital of Male after the country’s president has refused to follow a Supreme Court order calling for the release of political prisoners.
The sit-ins and demonstrations began last week across the city after President Yameen Abdul Gayoom refused to release the prisoners, including exiled former president Mohammed Nasheed.
On Sunday, the attorney-general warned that the government would resist attempts by the Supreme Court to impeach the president, causing further tensions.
As a result, China has urged its citizens to avoid travelling to the winter sun hotspot until the differences have been resolved.
However, at the time of writing, the FCO has not advised Brits against travel, although it does urge British tourists to avoid the protests and rallies in central Male.
If you’re planning to visit the outlying islands and resorts – which tend to be where most tourists are headed anyway – there are currently no reports that these have been affected by the protests, so the FCO isn’t advising against travel there.
It’s also worth noting that currently there are no reports that Malé International Airport, home to most of the connecting flights to the islands, is affected.
(Image: Cultura RF)
FCO advice at the time of writing:
“On 2 February 2018 there were protests and police on the streets of central Malé in response to emerging political developments.
“Further demonstrations are possible over the weekend. If you’re in Malé, you should exercise caution and avoid any protests or rallies. There are no reports that outlying islands, resorts or Malé International Airport are affected.
“Political protests and demonstrations often take place in Malé. Some have led to violence and arrests. You should take appropriate security precautions, comply with local security requirements and avoid protests and rallies.”
(Image: Getty Images Europe)
What to do if you’ve booked a trip to the Maldives
If you’re planning a holiday in the Maldives, make sure to bookmark the FCO page on travel advice for the Maldives and check it before you travel.
It’s also worth double checking your travel insurance to make sure you are covered should your holiday be affected by political unrest.
Some insurers won’t cover you if you need to get home during political unrest – nor will they offer you compensation should your trip be cancelled.
It’s also worth noting that if the Foreign Office does advise against travel and you still decide to go, your travel insurance policy will no longer cover you.