Sri Lanka to reopen borders from June 1

Colombo, May 26 (EFE).- Sri Lanka on Wednesday announced the lifting of its temporary travel ban on inbound travelers from June 1, except for passengers who spent time in India during the last 14 days.

However, restrictions on domestic travel will remain in force until June 7.

On May 21, the country had imposed travel restrictions on all inbound passengers while it continued to battle a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka Upul Dharmadasa said in a statement that after airports reopen on June 1, no more than 75 passengers will be allowed in a flight.

“All inbound travelers should be mandatorily quarantined at a quarantine hotel/quarantine center/Safe and Secure Certified Level 1 hotel until completion of 14 days,” he underlined.

Dharmadasa added that foreign nationals, seafarers and those travelling for business and investment purposes will need prior approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enter the country.

Passengers will also need to produce a negative PCR test report before departure for Sri Lanka in accordance with norms of the airlines concerned or the country from where they are coming.

Vaccinated passengers will also have to follow the same guidelines.

The closing of borders and domestic travel restrictions were a part of measures undertaken to check the sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 infections in the country.

According to Department of Information over nearly 167,000 patients have been detected and 1,269 have died since the coronavirus pandemic broke out last year.

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry that accounts for one of the largest foreign income generators in the country has suffered a major blow in recent years.

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Board has offered tourists a ‘bio-bubble’ facility to visit a series of tourist places in the island under strict health protocols, which includes a pre-confirmed booking at a Level 1 Safe and Secure hotel.

The industry suffered its first major setback in 2019 after the Easter Sunday attacks.

In 2018, the country earned $4.38 billion from tourism.

The revenue dropped to $3.61 billion in 2019 after the bombings. Only 507,704 tourists visited the country last year amid the pandemic. EFE


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