Over 200 Ukrainian tourists who were expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on a charter flight on January 19 under the Government’s pilot project, backed out of visiting the country while a further 100 tourists who were expected to arrive today, have cancelled their plans.
They have cancelled their plans following Sri Lanka’s health protocols which require every tourist to undergo three PCR tests if the stay is more than seven days, the Daily Mirror learns.
The charter flight which was expected to arrive with at least 214 tourists from Ukraine on January 19, flew into the country empty to take back the returning tourists while today, another flight is expected to arrive, but the number of arrivals have been reduced from an estimated 240 to 100.
Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, who was part of the government’s pilot project told Daily Mirror that following the new health guidelines released for tourists on January 6 many tour operators in Ukraine and Russia had been reluctant to take fresh bookings simply because tourists were reluctant to undergo so many PCR tests during a short span.
Weeratunga said that in addition to undergoing a PCR test in their respective countries within 96 hours before flying to Sri Lanka, upon arrival here, tourists were required to undergo another PCR test upon their check-in at their hotel, another test on their fifth to seventh day and another test during their 14th day. (JAMILA HUSAIN)