Sri Lanka to partially resume tourism by mid-June: Reports

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 31, 2020, 09:46 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Reuters )

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According to the report, individual travellers will not be allowed in the country as of now and the number of people in one group has not yet been decided by the government. 

Sri Lanka has revealed its plans to revive the tourism sector in mid-June by allowing small groups of visitors, as per a local newspaper's report that quoted a senior tourism ministry official as saying.

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According to a report in the Sunday Times, Tourism Ministry Secretary S Hettiaarachchi said that small groups that will consist of people of other countries will be allowed to visit Sri Lanka and stay in approved five-star hotels that follow coronavirus guidelines strictly. 

He said: “The tourists will be required to carry a COVID-19-free certificate issued either by their governments or a reputed agency." If the plan gets approved,  Bandaranaike International Airport and Mattala International Airport will partially reopen after being shut due to virus restrictions. The Secretary also added that these tourists will have to wait at the airport on arrival for coronavirus testing. 

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According to the report, individual travellers will not be allowed in the country as of now and the number of people in one group has not yet been decided by the government. 

“The tourists will not be allowed to get off buses midway (between journeys) and will be able only to visit selected destinations where they could avoid crowds,” Hettiaarachchi said.

Among Sri Lanka's tourist spots, Yala national park, Udawalawe, Arugam Bay, Trincomalee and selected beach areas would be among those open for the tourists. 

Lanka's tourism sector has a great impact on the nation's GDP as it constitutes 11 per cent of it. Sri Lanka hosts more than 2 million tourists every year. Due to the coronavirus, the tourism sector has faced massive losses. 

Sri Lanka reported another 20 cases of the virus on Saturday, taking the total number of cases so far to 1,613, including 10 deaths.

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