August 1 scheduled airport reopening likely to get delayed

29 June 2020 08:32 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The government is likely to delay the re-opening of the country’s borders as previously planned for August 1, to facilitate the return of Sri Lankan workers stranded abroad due to 
COVID-19 pandemic.


India’s NDTV quoted Airports Authority Chairman Retired Major General G.A. Chandrasiri as saying that the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) would not be re-opened on August 1 and it will be further delayed.


“The delay is due to the need to make arrangements to bring back home Sri Lankan expatriate workers. We have already got down about 12,000 of them - another 40,000 remain to be brought back. The priority right now is to cater to them enabling their return, “Chandrasiri was quoted as saying. 

The decision will deal a blow to the country’s battered tourism sector stakeholders, as they were gearing to welcome back tourists to the country from August 1 under already set strict 
health guidelines. 


Sri Lanka recorded zero tourist arrivals for the months of April and May.


Sri Lanka recorded only 11 COVID-19 deaths from a little over 2,000 positive cases. There are no deaths reported since June 1.

 

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  Comments - 2

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  • James Campbell Monday, 29 June 2020 02:51 PM

    I was planning to visit Sri Lanka in August for 28 days but this announcement has made me change my mind. Thankfully I seen this before booking my flight from London. I feel sorry for those who already have done so. Along with the entry requirements, multiple PCR tests, this is the death nail for tourism this year. Tourists are going to go elsewhere this year because of this mess.

    James Varney Thursday, 02 July 2020 04:41 PM

    You're absolutely right. I own JJ's Hostel in Mirissa and despite going through the onerous and expensive steps of becoming compliant with the new regulations for hoteliers, the uncertainty, high visa cost and the stringent requirements placed on tourists just isn't feasible nor attractive enough despite Sri Lanka having an excellent record for Covid 19 cases and no new cases in the general population for almost 2 months. Safety is almost assured which should be a huge plus for travellers but the expense and inconvenience diminishes the appeal.


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