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Travel bubble gets President’s nod

9 December 2020 09:32 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The proposed travel bubble to reopen Sri Lanka for foreign tourists has received the green-light from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The Tourism Ministry said that Cabinet was briefed on the proposal to open Sri Lanka for foreign tourists under a travel bubble.

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga had briefed the Cabinet on Tuesday on the discussions held so far on resuming tourism in Sri Lanka, the Tourism Ministry said.

Minister Ranatunga said that the discussions have been successful and a date will be decided soon to open Sri Lanka’s borders for foreign tourists.

The Minister said that the health authorities have advised that Sri Lanka allow foreign tourists into the country by implementing a travel bubble. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told the Cabinet that he also had talks with the health authorities and that a travel bubble was the way forward, the Tourism Ministry said.

Ranatunga said that a joint committee is expected to finalise the guidelines to be followed when the country reopens for foreign tourists. He said that the joint committee will discuss its proposals with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the task force on the prevention of the coronavirus.

According to the draft proposal, at least one hotel will be turned into a quarantine centre in each city open for tourists to be prepared to face any eventuality.

All tourists arriving in Sri Lanka will need to undergo PCR tests on arrival and seven days after arriving in the island as well. It will be mandatory that all international visitors have evidence of a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival. All tourists will be required to stay a minimum of 14 days in the country.

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) will be reopened in a phased-out manner, with no more than 300 arrivals per day in total as the first phase.

The Mattala International Airport (MRIA) will be exclusively used for repatriation flights with first preference being given to the repatriation of citizens back to Sri Lanka. (EASWARAN RUTNAM)

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  Comments - 8

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  • Esther Cohen, Europe Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:48 AM

    Every country in the world ask their citizens to stay at home. Only travel when it is necessary. A TOURISM minister should know that. Everyone knows that. We stay at home

    German Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:50 AM

    No one can force me to go back to Yala wildpark again. A horrible, busy, commercial and expensive park. With rude drivers

    BigEars Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:54 AM

    This man does not even have GCE (OL) qualifications and has no idea of the dangers opening travel bubble to tourist. He is just trying to score marks in front of another GCE(OL) educated man at the top. In essence it is all nonsense.

    Sivamany Nagaratnarajah Wednesday, 09 December 2020 11:38 AM

    First repatriate srilankan stranded in not only middle east but also from other countries then start tourisim.

    Mm Wednesday, 09 December 2020 12:50 PM

    Open for tourists but not for Sri Lankan’s who wants to be with family for Christmas! Sad state of affairs

    uthey Wednesday, 09 December 2020 03:54 PM

    Let the sri lankans abroad come home 1st and provide them quarantine at their homes without hotels stealing their hard earned mony, then start tourism. you need $, they will bring $ as they are the main $ investers of Sri Lanka at all times

    Mandayan Wednesday, 09 December 2020 04:33 PM

    Tourists have no money, no jobs to come and spend!

    Eichmann Bernhard (Germany) Wednesday, 09 December 2020 06:43 PM

    It was not said how long the journey would last.


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