Sri Lanka to delay tourism reopening

Published on : Tuesday, June 30, 2020

On Monday, Sri Lanka lifted its nationwide curfew ahead of the parliamentary elections that is set to take place in forthcoming weeks but the island country has decided to delay reopening the country for foreign tourists by at least by another two weeks. It was initially announced that the country would open its international airports to tourists on August 1. However, it has now been decided that rescue operations of citizens stranded would be prioritised at the moment.

The Sri Lankan government has already declared the rules for foreign travellers who will enter the country after the reopening of the airport. Tourists have also been asked to produce a negative PCR report taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival on the island. They will also have to undergo a second test after landing and a third if they stay for more than 10 days. Visitors will also have to undergo testing if they show any signs of COVID-19 infections during their stay in the country. It has also been announced that people who fail to wear masks would be ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days.

However, the decision to completely lift the curfew was taken after the country stopped showing records of fresh coronavirus infections at the community level. The reopening comes after the nationwide lockdown that was declared back during March in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. An official has mentioned that though the curfew has been completely lifted people will not be able to gather in large groups like the pre-pandemic time. It has been mentioned that everyone is subjected to adhere to the health guidelines as recommended by the Health Ministry.

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga added in a press statement that though the country wants to restart tourism as soon as possible, there are more than 46,000 Sri Lankans who have registered with the government and are waiting to return home. Therefore, it has been decided that authorities will first ensure that stranded individuals return back to the country before restarting foreign tourism.

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