Tourists have been barred from entering St Martin's Island from 25-26 December due to the fourth phase of union parishad (UP) polls in Teknaf, Cox's Bazar.
District administration has instructed all tourist ships and trawlers, operating on total three routes leading to St Martin's Island, to suspend services for security reasons, confirmed Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Parvez Chowdhury to TBS.
He said, "The Teknaf-St Martin's, Cox's Bazar-St Martin's, and Chittagong-St Martin's shipping routes have been shut down due to the UP elections.
"Most of the tourists who were at the island were sent back on Friday. The rest are to leave by Saturday noon."
"Shipping will resume from 27 December," the UNO added.
According to the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), there are seven ships on the Teknaf-St Martin waterways and nine on the St Martin-Cox's Bazar and St Martin-Chittagong waterways.
Some 10,000 tourists visit the island every day on these ships.
According to Mohammad Bedarul Islam, upazila election officer and returning officer of St Martin's UP, total 3,365 voters will exercise their franchise in nine voting centres on 26 December.
Those who are contesting for the chairman post are – Mujibur Rahman (boat symbol), Nur Ahmed (motorcycle symbol), Abdur Rahman (eyeglasses symbol), Zahid Hossain (pineapple symbol), and Firoz Ahmed (telephone symbol).