- Health Ministry ends disinfection process of passengers and luggage on arrival
By Charumini de Silva
Passengers arriving from overseas will now face less hassle, with the Health Ministry discontinuing the disinfection process including their luggage at the airport.
The move follows concerns expressed by arriving passengers that the disinfection procedure may lead to more adverse health outcomes.
In addition to considering the practical circumstances Director General Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardane has noted that there was no significant benefit of the disinfection process of the passengers and their luggage.
With the airport being opened, there was concern that the disinfection process would delay the smooth movement of the passenger flow, inconvenience and even create a false sense of security among staff.
Considering these factors, the Health Ministry has notified the Civil Aviation Authority and Airport and Aviation Services that it does not recommend the disinfection of passengers and their luggage by spraying disinfectants and to discontinue this process at the airports.
The travel and tourism industry last week welcomed the reopening of borders and resumption of tourism. Since 21 January, over 50 leisure cum business travellers have arrived and are staying in the country following strict health and safety guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.
In the first four days of re-opening the airport, among commercial airlines which have operated flights to Colombo are Oman Air, Emirates, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, China Eastern Airline, Cathay Pacific, and Etihad, apart from national carrier SriLankan Airlines.