By Charumini de Silva
The airport and port authorities yesterday decided to restrain the entry of employees from Divulapitiya and Minuwangoda areas until further notice whilst banning outsiders to do duty-free shopping at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The move was as a preventive measure after identifying two new COVID-19 persons in Gampaha District yesterday.
“We are not going to close the airport,” Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga told the Daily FT, adding that any further developments on the operations of the departure and arrival terminals will be decided by the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) along with the health authorities promptly.
“As a precautionary measure, we have requested the employees from the areas of Divulapitiya and Minuwangoda to not to report to work until further notice. In addition, we have temporary halted the entry of outsiders to the duty-free shopping complex,” Airport and Aviation Services (Lanka) Ltd. Vice Chairman Rajeeva Sooriyarachchi told the Daily FT.
The Government allowed repatriated Sri Lankans who were moved to direct quarantine facility for one month, to purchase from the BIA duty-free shopping complex. The authorities allowed around 100 individuals daily at the duty-free shopping area.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority also requested workers in Minuwangoda and Divulapitiya Police jurisdictions not to report to work until further notice.
Police curfew was imposed in Divulapitiya and Minuwangoda areas yesterday following a 39-year-old woman employed at an apparel factory was tested positive for the virus at Gampaha Hospital and later her 16-year-old daughter was also tested positive for COVID-19 and were transferred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Angoda yesterday.