Fresh health guidelines to resuscitate COVID-19-hit tourism industry

23 July 2020 06:06 am - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka is to publish health guidelines internationally soon for tourists as a move to resuscitate the tourism industry hit by COVID-19, an official said yesterday.

Secretary to the Tourism and Aviation Ministry S. Hettiarachchi told the Daily Mirror yesterday that Sri Lanka would entertain tourists only after the Bandaranaike International Airport was open for international flight operations.

However, he said it is still uncertain when it could be done.

“We can internationally publish COVID-19 guidelines for tourists intending to come here. We have already finalized them in consultation with the health authorities. It is a lengthy document. We will notify the relevant international bodies through Sri Lankan missions. We can do it this week,” he said.

Tourists are required to arrive in the country with COVID-19 certification. Upon arrival, they will be required to stay in the country at least for five nights. They will be prohibited from using the public transport system.

Mr. Hettiarachchi said the tourism industry had been hit by the pandemic severely.

“In additional, SriLankan Airlines, as the national career, is losing heavily. Airport does not generate any income. The industry wants us to announce the day of re-opening the airport. But, we cannot do it right now. It may be during the course of August after the general elections,” he said.(Kelum Bandara)

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  • Garry Lakan Paul Thursday, 23 July 2020 02:17 PM

    Start by opening the airport and letting other airlines fly to Colombo. There are sri lankans who have bought tickets on other airlines and are now stuck in Europe because on sri lankan airlines are allowed to fly. There are families of expats who want to either visit there loved ones in sri lanka or fly out of sri lanka to be with there families. Tourism will not start the very next day the airport opens up but families and loved ones will be able to atleast meet. Sri Lanka is not even on the safe list of countries to travel to from UK

    Reema De Silva Thursday, 23 July 2020 02:27 PM

    The government needs to review its decision on keeping the airport shut and causing misery to thousands of Sri Lankans who are stuck abroad and are not able to come back home. These people are holding confirmed return tickets on Emirates Qatar and other airlines.

    Joy Dass Thursday, 23 July 2020 02:41 PM

    Please have a look at how other countries are dealing with this in regards to travel n tourism. Looks like this govt is trying its best to kill travel


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