After consulting with the ministers of his cabinet, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has decided that Independence Day celebrations will not be held this year. This includes the official assembly, sport festivities and other activities typically held on the occasion of Independence Day.

The President made this decision in adherence to ‘new normal’ guidelines developed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19’s further spread. Not holding the celebrations this year will also help reduce state expenditure, as part of the Government’s ongoing recovery efforts from the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

Despite this decision, the President will address the nation to deliver remarks on the occasion of Independence Day, at 1000hrs on Sunday, 26th July 2020.

During cabinet discussions, President Solih also discussed the arrangements in place to hand out this year's National Award of Honour and National Award of Recognition, and sought the advice of his cabinet. These awards will be handed out during this year’s official National Day celebration ceremony, which will fall on October18th this year. Special Achievement Awards will be given to recipients during this year’s official Republic Day ceremony.

After discussing with the Cabinet, the President has decided to open nominations for the 2020 National Awards. The President emphasized that proceeding with National Day and Republic Day celebrations as planned will be contingent on the country’s situation with regard to COVID-19. If necessary, awarding ceremonies may be rescheduled to a later date.