June 14, Colombo: The Minister of Industrial Export, Investment Promotion, Tourism and Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga today (14) said the Government is considering the opening Sri Lanka’s main international airport, Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake before the 1st of August.
Minister Ranatunga said all those Sri Lankans who want to return to Sri Lanka will be brought back before opening the airport for tourists. The Minister expressed hope that the repatriation of all Sri Lankans, who want to return could be completed before August 01.
He said already 10,000 expatriates have come to Sri Lanka and are being quarantined and although another 20,000 waiting to return home, they would be repatriated according to the availability of the country's quarantine centers.
He said that after the opening of the airport for tourists, attention has been paid to bring in tourists in to the country in groups.
According to the Minister, the same procedure will be applied to both Sri Lankans returning to the country and the tourists upon arrival in the country. However, prior to August 01, returnees will be quarantined upon arrival.
All tourists should undergo PCR tests, the Minister said and added that it has been decided to allow the visitors to tour the country based on PCR test results.
Tourists are required to submit a PCR test report obtained before departing their respective countries but they will be subjected to another PCR test upon landing on the island. Accordingly, the tourists will be allowed to travel across the country only if the test results reveal they are negative to the virus.
The Tourism Minister said that a mechanism will be implemented through the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to regularly check the health of the tourists and they will not be allowed to travel freely across the country on their own.