While adding equal facilities to the airports, Sri Lankan authorities yesterday declared open the duty free shopping complex at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) consisting of a liquor shop in both the departure and arrival terminals.
The event to declare open the duty free complex was launched by Aviation and Export Zones Development State Minister D. V. Chanaka at the MRIA.
Under the first phase of the opening of the duty-free shops, two shops to buy liquor were declared opened at the arrival and departure lounge of the airport by the Minister.
He said that all facilities available at the BIA would be added to the MRIA within two or three weeks.
Moreover, addressing the media after the event, the Minister said the government had decided to include equal facilities which were available at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) at the MRIA as well to facilitate foreign arrivals as well as the local community who arrived and departed the country, the Minister said.
He said the government was intending to restore the tourism industry within the next few months after relaxing the quarantine regulations with new health guidelines issued, considering the arrival of tourists in the country.
Accordingly, the guidelines had been amended considering the tourists who received both the COVISHIELD vaccines and the tourists who arrived in the country after fourteen days of taking the vaccine.
"In a COVID pandemic world, the situation is only getting worse. Most of the countries have imposed lockdown regulations. But our country has managed to control the situation and even to open the airports," the Minister said.
Meanwhile, the total number of 5,446 Kazakhstan tourists arrived in the country so far since December 28, 2020. A senior official of the airport said that236 Kazakhstan tourists were received at the MRIA that morning. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)