According to a local media report, Sri Lanka is going to reopen its airports for international flights from January 21, 2021.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that the 2 main airports Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) and Mattala International Airport (Hambantota) will reopen starting 21 January and international flights will resume gradually from 23 January, stated the report.
“There are nearly three million people in our country who are directly or indirectly dependent on the tourism industry. Keeping this in mind, I announced that the airports will officially reopen on January 21 for tourists,” he said.
The tourism minister of Sri Lanka, Prasanna Ranatunga said that strict health guidelines have been put in place across its airports for tourists.
“The airport was closed on March 19. Since then there have been no tourist arrivals for 10 months. We have been making various plans to restart the tourism industry since last June,” reports Sri Lankan news portal Ada Derana.
“This time is an opportunity with good demand. This is the best time to implement this quickly. Therefore, we hope to open the entire airport to tourists by the 21st, 23rd of January. We are currently preparing for this after identifying some basic issues”, the portal added.
Here Are The Health Guidelines For Tourists Issue By The Government:
- Arrivals of tourists would be decided by the testing capacity of the private laboratories as determined by the Ministry of Health and Minister of Tourism jointly.
- Mandatory to pay for two PCR tests if the visit is up to seven days or three PCR tests if the visit is for more than seven days.
- Travellers should have Covid-19 insurance cover for a period of one month.
- Pre-confirmed hotel booking is mandatory for the first 14 days in one or more certified safe and secure (Level 1) hotel.
So by doing this, Sri Lanka has started taking small and gradual steps towards reopening its borders. Also, on 28 December, under a pilot project, the country started taking tourists in controlled groups.
The first group of tourists arrived on a charter flight from Ukraine. Five of them tested positive for COVID upon arrival and were placed in quarantine. The rest are only allowed to travel as a group on a set itinerary monitored by local officials. There are various restrictions on their movement, and mixing with the local community is not recommended.