By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The government has arranged quarantine for returning Sri Lankans from abroad to spend their mandatory quarantine spell at a hotel at a cost and as they pleased, acting Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army Lt. General Shavendra Silva said yesterday.
Certain Sri Lankans who could afford the cost of quarantine have expressed their willingness to spend their mandatory quarantine spell in privacy and more comfort. We can arrange a hotel for them with highly reduced room charges. For instance, hotel managements have informed us that they could give a hotel room less than half of the normal cost.
But the decision whether to undergo a quarantine spell privately or in a quarantine centre run by the armed forces is entirely up to the Sri Lankans returning, Mr. Silva stressed and added the armed forces were ready to undertake any number of Sri Lankans for quarantine until the viral infection is fully controlled.
Meanwhile, the national carrier SriLankan Airlines dispatched a special flight bound for London early yesterday (03) to repatriate around 250 Sri Lankan students who have been stranded in England due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
SriLankan Airlines’ UL-503 flight left BIA Katunayake at 4.40 am yesterday to Heathrow Airport in London. The plane did not carry any passengers to London, and only the flight crew was on board. SriLankan Airlines operated an Airbus A330-343 aircraft for this flight. The flight is scheduled to arrive at London’s Heathrow Airport at around 7.30 am local time and will return to Katunayake at 12.45 am Monday (04).
A few more special flights have also been scheduled to Australia in the next few days.