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Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka: Shortcomings in pilot project to be addressed


31 December 2020 12:11 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • Dancers at welcome ceremony were sans face masks
  • Semi-Govt., private hospitals managing tourists 
  • Tourists submitted negative result certificates

By Easwaran Rutnam 

Shortcomings identified in the pilot project implemented this week to open Sri Lanka’s borders for selected tourists will be addressed, health officials said.  

Allegations were raised that quarantine regulations had not been strictly followed when tourists from Ukraine had arrived at the Mattala International Airport this week.  

Among the allegations raised was over the welcome ceremony organised for the tourists by the authorities, which included dances and other cultural events.  

The dancers were seen not wearing face masks during the performances. 

Health Services Deputy Director Dr. Hemantha Herath told reporters yesterday (Wednesday) that since the process was a pilot project, the shortcoming would be addressed in future.  Dr. Hemantha Herath said that some shortcomings in the pilot project had been rectified immediately while other issues will be addressed in the coming days. 

Three Ukrainians who were part of the first batch of tourists to arrive in Sri Lanka this week, had tested positive for the coronavirus after a PCR test was carried out in Sri Lanka. 

Dr. Hemantha Herath said that the foreigners had arrived with negative result certificates from PCR tests conducted in Ukraine. 

However, he said that PCR tests conducted in Sri Lanka showed that three of them were infected.  

He also said that while government hospitals were prepared to provide medical care to the them, the tourists had some reservations. 

The Tourism Ministry is working with semi-government and private hospitals to provide medical care to the visitors. 


  • The dancers were seen not wearing face masks during the performances


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