Health Ministry eases restrictions to boost tourism industry

Thursday, 9 September 2021 02:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Health Ministry has permitted tourist activities, despite the current lockdown, for fully vaccinated tourists as well as for travellers who have completed the 14-day quarantine within the bio-bubble.

According to the latest directive of the Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena, fully vaccinated tourists and those who have completed 14-days in quarantine are “free to move out of the bio-bubble” and travel to other areas in the country.

The move comes after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week insisted at a high-ranked meeting that the tourism industry must gradually be opened up with lesser restrictions for international travellers along with the aggressive vaccination drive, as it is a key foreign exchange earning sector for the economy.

As per the notice, it states that ‘Safe and Secure’ Level 1 or Level 2 certified hotels can accept tourists with a vaccination certificate or discharge note issued by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). It also noted that such international travellers are permitted to visit tourist sites, but the transport should be organised by the particular hotel.

In addition, tourists who have completed their mandatory quarantine are allowed to enjoy the facilities of the hotel, such as the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and common facilities, subject to health guidelines of the maximum permitted capacity.

Tourist establishments with liquor licenses are permitted to serve liquor in-house to guests with the approval of the Excise Commissioner General.

The directive of the Health Services General was also copied to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Excise Commissioner General and the SLTDA Director General.


Health Ministry wants COVID prevention strategy to look at further relaxing protocols for Russian travellers

Over 5,000 tourists in August despite third wave