- Under new Foreign Ministry directives, PCR test mandatory unless diplomat and families present PCR test reports obtained within 72 hours
- Change made after US diplomat reported to have undertaken PCR test at the airport
- Embassies have to inform Foreign Ministry of any arrivals beforehand
- Self-quarantine at official residences or hotels recommended by Govt.
- Second PCR test to be done after completing quarantine
The Foreign Relations Ministry yesterday revised PCR and quarantine procedures for diplomatic staff, making it mandatory for them and their families to submit PCR test reports obtained within 72 hours or be subjected to a mandatory PCR test upon landing in Sri Lanka.
Following the revised instructions issued on 4 June by the Presidential Secretariat on the PCR testing and quarantine procedures for the members of the diplomatic corps based/attached in Colombo when they enter/re-enter Sri Lanka in order to prevent and minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Foreign Relations took immediate action to convey the same to all diplomatic missions, the representation offices of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, international organisations, and honorary consulates resident in Colombo through diplomatic channels.
The respective diplomatic missions may inform the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MFR) by a note verbale the details of the diplomats and their family members who are scheduled for entry/re-entry into Sri Lanka for the diplomatic assignments well in advance in order to obtain the prior approval from the concerned authorities, the Foreign Relations Ministry said in a statement.
“The members of the diplomatic staff and their family members need to submit PCR test reports obtained within 72 hours prior to their departure from their respective countries. If the members of the diplomatic staff and their family members are unable to provide PCR test reports, they would be subjected to a mandatory PCR test at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake,” the statement said.
The list of the procedures released by the Foreign Relations Ministry is given below.
Heads of mission and family members will self-quarantine at the official residences. All other arriving diplomatic staff and their family members will have to follow quarantine procedures at a hotel, recommended by the Government (if independent/separate residences are not available), for a period of 14 days, subject to concurrence and supervision of the heads of mission.
The diplomatic missions/representations need to inform the Ministry of Foreign Relations once the 14-day home quarantine is completed and submit the second PCR test report done by the mission before the officer resumes duties in the mission as per the measures taken by the mission to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The diplomatic missions/representations have to forward the travel details of the diplomatic staff and their family members at least 48 hours prior to their departure to the Chief of Protocol of the Ministry.
The Foreign Ministry further notes that travel by diplomatic officers to Sri Lanka will be approved, subject to their concurrence to follow the above procedures issued by the Government.