Govt. considering opening of BIA before August 1: Minister

14 June 2020 01:57 pm - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The government is considering the reopening of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake prior to August 1,Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.

He emphasized that all those expecting to arrive in Sri Lanka will be brought back before the reopening of the Airport for the tourists.

The Minister said that the repatriation of Sri Lankan expatriates could be completed before August 1.

However, he said this has to be decided according to the availability of spaces at quarantine centers in the country.

"There are about 20,000 more Sri Lankans expecting to return. Already, at least 10,000 persons were brought and  are being quarantined. We hope to expedite this process," he said.

The Minister said that after the reopening of the airport for tourists, attention would be made to bring in tourists in groups. He said that all tourists should undergo PCR tests on their arrival.(Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya)

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  Comments - 23

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  • CITIZEN Sunday, 14 June 2020 02:07 PM

    CAN SRI LANKANS WHO WANTS TO COME ON SHORT HOLIDAYS ALSO ARRIVE AT BIA, AND WHAT PROCEDURE HAVE THEY GOT TO FOLLOW

    Paul Sunday, 14 June 2020 02:13 PM

    Good news!!! From 1. of July will be good!! Because school holidays etc will be then. and every country will be open without quarantine.

    Jason Sunday, 14 June 2020 02:25 PM

    Which tourist will come ???..from where ???..ask the travel agents..they have no bookings till Jan next year...chinese and Indians ???..they covid 19 cases are on the rise...2and wave cases in china...good luck mr minister

    Ranjan Sunday, 14 June 2020 04:34 PM

    Lots of people are waiting to come for medicals even from Maldives. They come they spend a lot.

    Mk Sunday, 14 June 2020 02:31 PM

    HELLO MINISTER. NO CHANCE AT ALL. PLEASE PLAN ON SEPTEMBER ONLY DO NOT MAKE PANIC FOR STAFF. YOUR ALL PRESENTLY AIMING FOR ELECTION JIL MATTU.

    Sunil Sunday, 14 June 2020 02:46 PM

    Please do! But what about individuals who get the tourist visa to come back to visit family /friends and want to stay at their houses ? Ie not groups and not in a certified accommodation...

    Ziffan Sunday, 14 June 2020 02:48 PM

    Good steps We hope make it fast for the lankans in all over the world..

    Dee Sunday, 14 June 2020 03:36 PM

    We saw what happened the last time when Sri Lankans from abroad came to vote. This time will be worse.

    Sunil Sunday, 14 June 2020 04:20 PM

    I think those who want to come as tourists will be mostly from covid peak countries, just like the Bohra community head from Mumbai. So, please ensure no second wave even if the hotel sector and airlines are pressuring you Mr Minister.

    ravin Sunday, 14 June 2020 05:28 PM

    Good consideration, But as usual one sided thinking, have they ever give consideration to the highest number of tourist arrived from where? Is that country is free from COVID-19? Second highest ? covid-19? third highest? covid? so on and so forth.

    Talal Sunday, 14 June 2020 05:29 PM

    Begs the question why private and public universities would still be functioning at reduced capacities even come the date where tourists will be welcomed.

    PD Sunday, 14 June 2020 05:58 PM

    Please no- in fact consider extending the tourist arrival date. We are one of the few countries right now where we can move around without active corona cases in society. Let's keep it this way.

    Gufran Illiyas Sunday, 14 June 2020 06:09 PM

    Hi, I strongly believe, instead using reparation flights for Lankans, use normal flights and ask them to fly only Nationalities and Residence back, the tourists can come later, let the families meet. 1st of Jul can be ideal, have a PCR test, if negative, send them home for self qurantine, if positive, send them to centers, if negative and with few symptoms, send them to centers. I strongly believe, more than 30% would like to stay paid qurantine. Get more hotels to accommodate This way, not only u will save space from centers, families will meet, thats the most important thing Citizen of Mother Lanka

    Bribery Case Sunday, 14 June 2020 06:28 PM

    Who is the decision maker- GR or PR ?

    Biswa Sunday, 14 June 2020 07:07 PM

    All arrivals be they Sri Lanka n or otherwise must be quarantined. That's the only way to save people living here from corona.hope authorities will have sense to understand this.

    Janaka Sunday, 14 June 2020 07:42 PM

    Very Good news!!! From 1st. of July will be good!! Country is getting back to normal and every country will be opening without quarantine. Don't bring tourist from Chain and India it is spreading once again over there , Test for PCR if negative send them hope is positive send them to Quarantine center , This will be good and the Sri Lankan will be happy to see their family member kids and relation and also good for the country as well to show the world.

    Sarah Sunday, 14 June 2020 08:00 PM

    They should allow people from countries like Australia and NZ, which have nearly no cases, In with lower restrictions. They should be allowed in sooner than other tourists too!

    Nick Sunday, 14 June 2020 08:53 PM

    It seems the current leadership of Sri Lankan tourism doesn't know what to do. Rushes to extremes. Is it really not clear that groups, especially from China, will bring more contagion than individuals and those traveling to relatives and friends who are much easier to control?

    Sokrates Monday, 15 June 2020 08:49 AM

    No western tourist will come to Sri Lanka until a vaccine is found. Nobody will be exposed to the risk of getting into a crowded Corona hatchery and exposing themselves to the risk of infection during an hour-long flight. Even inner Sri Lankan tourism should not be promoted now, as there are thousands of unregistered infected people here.

    carl fernando Monday, 15 June 2020 07:56 PM

    What about returning spouses, who have a resident visa?

    Nishal Fernando Saturday, 20 June 2020 06:07 PM

    Opening BIA for Tourists, who have to spend 100$ for a Tourist Visa and highjacking Hotel Fees.The entired world runs into a global financial crisis and more n more people become jobless,due to shutdown businesses.SL will get only Chinese visitors in futuremwith Instant Noodles in their Luggage,because the western world has now other priorities, than a Ripp Off Holiday in Sri Lanka.Good luck!!

    Seb Monday, 22 June 2020 08:15 AM

    I don't think many tourists will come. Most people like to plan their holiday in advance and the SL embassies around the world as well as the SL immigration office still say "Foreign nationals are not welcome until further notice and and all visas have been suspended". August 1st is in a little more than a month from now. People have already planned and paid for other destinations I'm afraid.

    Moharram Monday, 22 June 2020 08:22 PM

    Please quickly. I want to visit beautiful Sri Lanka


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