Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has proposed to a recently appointed Sri Lanka Tourism Advisory Committee to consider opening up the country for foreign travellers under two options which include tourists undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period after arriving here or travelling under a strict travel bubble, the Daily Mirror learns.
In recent discussions held with the advisory committee, one option which is under consideration is opening the country for travellers from all countries, but they will have to undergo a minimum 14-day quarantine period after arriving here. Another option under discussion is initially opening the country under a strict travel bubble, which will be open only for German tourists as tourists from this destination prefer only to travel to the beach areas.
Under the travel bubble, tourists will be allowed to travel only to the designated areas and then leave the country. These areas initially include travelling only to Bentota, Yala and Pasikudah. All tourists arriving here will be subject to PCR tests.
The Daily Mirror learns that no decision has been taken as to when the airport will be opened and a final decision on which option to select will be taken soon after which it will be discussed with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Meanwhile, the repatriation programme to bring back Sri Lankan nationals stranded overseas will resume from this week with these nationals being brought back in batches.
Special emphasis will be given to those stranded in the Middle East.
Upon their arrival to Sri Lanka, those repatriated will be sent to government-run quarantine centres or will have the option of undergoing quarantine in paid centres or hotels.(JAMILA HUSAIN)