Temporary ban on travelers from Vietnam
Sri Lanka will allow passenger travel to its international airports from 1 June, State Minister of Aviation D. V. Chanaka announced a short while ago, however, visitors from Vietnam will not be allowed to disembark due to the identification of a new COVID-19 variant.
While efforts will be rolled out to help air travel return to normalcy, a decision was taken by the relevant authorities to not allow those who have traveled to Vietnam within 14 days and those who have exchanged flights in Vietnam to enter Sri Lanka.
State Minister Chanaka said that the temporary measure was taken to prevent the spread of the new hybrid COVID-19 variant that has been detected in Vietnam.
According to health officials in Vietnam, the new variant is a mix of the Indian and UK variants and can spread quickly by air. Vietnam's Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long described the latest mutation on Saturday as "very dangerous".
Thanh highlighted that the new hybrid variant was more transmissible than previously known versions, especially in the air.
As reported by Vietnamese media, the variant was discovered after running tests on newly-detected patients. The gene code for the same is yet to be made available.