- Any passenger airline can fly to Sri Lanka once borders reopen
- Over 50 hotels will be out of bounds for locals when Sri Lanka reopens its borders
By Easwaran Rutnam
Sri Lanka is in talks with major airlines to resume passenger flights to the country.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that discussions have been held with the country managers of international airlines.
“We have explained to them the system we will have in place when Sri Lanka reopens for tourists,” the Minister said during a post-cabinet press conference.
He said that the most recent discussion the Sri Lankan authorities had was with Emirates and they have shown interest in resuming flights to Sri Lanka.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic 26 international passenger airlines flew to Sri Lanka.
He said that during the pandemic only seven passenger airlines flew to Sri Lanka.
Ranatunga said that any passenger airline can fly to Sri Lanka once the borders reopen while private jets and cruise ships will also be able to bring passengers to the country.
Over 50 hotels will be out of bounds for locals when Sri Lanka reopens its borders for tourists from 21 January.
Speaking to hoteliers during an online discussion on Friday, Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said that beach areas adjoining these hotels will be cordoned off to prevent interaction between locals and foreign tourists.
Ranatunga said that the Police will even prevent local vendors from getting close to the tourists.
He said that if a local vendor wants to get close to the tourist he will need to follow the system implemented by the Tourism Ministry.