The repatriation of Sri Lankan citizens overseas which was temporarily suspended will resume next week, with five special flights designated to repatriate Sri Lankans from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Italy, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.
The programme to repatriate Sri Lankans overseas was suspended in October due to a surge of COVID-19 cases, following the detection of the Minuwangoda cluster. Taking various difficulties endured by these citizens into account, including the loss of employment, government officials announced it would resume the repatriation programme, with a key focus on the Middle-East.
Accordingly 290 persons will arrive in Sri Lanka on November 18, on paid quarantine basis, Director General East Asia at the Foreign Ministry, Kandeepan Balasubramaniam said. Meanwhile 100 persons are scheduled to arrive in the country on November 20 from Italy. This group would include Sri Lankan students residing in Italy who wish to sit for the Ordinary Level examination in Sri Lanka.
A special flight for 297 persons identified as vulnerable persons, including pregnant women and patients with illnesses, is scheduled to arrive from Qatar on November 21.
Another flight with 297 persons from Kuwait is scheduled to arrive on November 23 on paid quarantine basis, while a further 290 citizens will arrive from Oman on November 26. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)