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Sri Lanka fully reopens borders to tourists, international arrivals

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Sri Lanka fully reopened its borders to tourists and international arrivals from all countries on Thursday.

An Oman Air flight carrying 50 Sri Lankans arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo early Thursday.

Speaking to media in the commercial capital Colombo, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga thanked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for reviving the COVID-19-affected tourism industry which employs three million people.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said that the tourism ministry has formulated detailed safety protocols and procedures in consultation with the health ministry and the presidential task force on COVID-19.

“With all these measures, processes and protocols sat in place, Sri Lanka is ready and Sri Lanka is open to welcome back our visitors,” Fernando said.

Sri Lankan tourism has created an online information portal and a 24-hour operational center contactable via phone or e-mail, with which tourists can have access to support and information updates.

Sri Lanka currently has a PCR testing capacity for 2,500 tourist arrivals per day. Tourists will have to purchase insurance and pay for their own PCR tests. Currently, there is no quarantine period or minimum stay set for visiting tourists.

The Bandaranaike International Airport in the country’s west and the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in the south are both currently opened to scheduled and chartered flights from at least eight airlines including Sri Lanka’s national carrier SriLankan Airlines.

(XINHUA)

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