The proposed travel bubble to reopen Sri Lanka for foreign tourists has received the green-light from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The Tourism Ministry said that Cabinet was briefed on the proposal to open Sri Lanka for foreign tourists under a travel bubble.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga had briefed the Cabinet on Tuesday on the discussions held so far on resuming tourism in Sri Lanka, the Tourism Ministry said.
Minister Ranatunga said that the discussions have been successful and a date will be decided soon to open Sri Lanka’s borders for foreign tourists.
The Minister said that the health authorities have advised that Sri Lanka allow foreign tourists into the country by implementing a travel bubble. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told the Cabinet that he also had talks with the health authorities and that a travel bubble was the way forward, the Tourism Ministry said.
Ranatunga said that a joint committee is expected to finalise the guidelines to be followed when the country reopens for foreign tourists. He said that the joint committee will discuss its proposals with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the task force on the prevention of the coronavirus.
According to the draft proposal, at least one hotel will be turned into a quarantine centre in each city open for tourists to be prepared to face any eventuality.
All tourists arriving in Sri Lanka will need to undergo PCR tests on arrival and seven days after arriving in the island as well. It will be mandatory that all international visitors have evidence of a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival. All tourists will be required to stay a minimum of 14 days in the country.
The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) will be reopened in a phased-out manner, with no more than 300 arrivals per day in total as the first phase.
The Mattala International Airport (MRIA) will be exclusively used for repatriation flights with first preference being given to the repatriation of citizens back to Sri Lanka. (EASWARAN RUTNAM)