The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) yesterday expressed reservations over the new rules announced by Health authorities.
“We are disappointed with new health guidelines. We are surprised on the new guidelines as this is taking a step back. The current protocols permit a tourist to move within level one hotels after the first PCR negative on arrival. However even with the vaccine a tourist will be confined to one hotel for seven days and subject to three PCR tests, which makes no sense,” SLAITO said.
This, it opined, will jeopardise the efforts of the Government to revive the tourism industry and bring in much-needed foreign exchange to the country.
“Even at present if we look at the arrivals we have had so far, not even 0.5% of them have been COVID positive. When many countries are gradually opening up for tourism, this will hamper all our efforts. We hope health authorities will reconsider their decision.”
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said, as per new rules, those with two doses of vaccination along with a booking in a ‘safe and secure’ hotel will be facilitated with a PCR test on arrival and a PCR test on the seventh day. The tourists will also be able to leave the ‘safe and secure’ hotel with the second negative PCR test.