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* Sri Lanka temporarily halts on-arrival visa for tourists to control coronavirus spread
Wed, Mar 11, 2020, 11:07 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 11, Colombo: The Sri Lankan Government has decided to temporarily suspend the On-Arrival-Visa facility for foreign tourists until further notice as a measure to control the spread of coronavirus in the country.

“The Government has decided to suspend on arrival visa facility until further notice,” the Government Information Department said in a statement said today, a day after the first Sri Lankan patient with COVID-19 was detected.

The government also urged the public to avoid foreign travel as much as possible unless it is an essential matter.

The government's quarantine measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country are applicable not only to Sri Lankans from Italy, South Korea and Iran but also to foreigners, the statement said.

It is common practice to suspend the On-Arrival-Visa facility in view of emergencies in the country. Previously, the On-Arrival-Visa facility was suspended following the Easter Sunday attack on April 21 last year.

On Wednesday the first Sri Lankan patient infected with the COVID-19 virus in the country was reported. The 52-year old patient is a tour guide and has recently provided services to an Italian tour group.

The Ministry of Health also reported that an Italian woman and her husband suspected to have coronavirus infection have been admitted to the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital.


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