Tourism Chief hails fast-tracked vaccination drive

Tuesday, 13 July 2021 02:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says inoculation of all citizens will help to put SL back on the map of prospective holiday makers
  • Expresses confidence on 100% inoculation of over-30s, which accounts for 50% of the country’s population
  • Welcomes latest relaxed guidelines issued by Health Ministry

Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando


Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando yesterday commended the Government on its accelerated vaccination program with over five million jabs to date, noting that the inoculation of all citizens would help put the country back on the map of prospective holiday makers.

“Vaccination of our citizens and tourism workers is a tremendous boost to build confidence of the international traveller,” she told the Daily FT.

As of yesterday, nearly five and a half million vaccinations had been administered in the country, including Covishield, Sinopharm, Sputnik V and Pfizer. Sri Lanka’s total population is 21,919,000. Of that, 11,496,904 persons are over 30 years of age, all of whom the Government aims to have vaccinated by September. The Government plans to achieve 100% vaccination in the Colombo District by the end of this month and Western Province by next month.  

The Government has purchased an additional 8.5 million jabs (for both doses) as of yesterday and has already placed another order to get 6.6 million more shots against COVID-19 by the end of this month. A further 6 million vaccines are scheduled to arrive next month.  

Fernando expressed confidence that the above lot of jabs would facilitate 100% inoculation (both doses) for those above 30 years of age, which covers about 50% of total population of the country. 

She also welcomed the decision to fast-track the vaccination program to tourism stakeholders. 

“The vaccination program was kicked off over the weekend from down south, and the program will be extended to all tourism hotspots. Inoculation of every citizen, including tourism sector stakeholders will help us to restore normalcy," Fernando said.

“With the starting of winter booking planning by foreign travellers, the confidence provided by vaccinations is a major boost to secure the decision to choose Sri Lanka.”

She said the latest guidelines issued by the Health Ministry was a further boost in restarting tourism activities.

“Many countries with significant vaccination levels have taken the welcome approach to live with the virus and resume normal levels of activity, while taking the necessary precautions. We too hope that the accelerated vaccination program will help us revive the industry,” (CdeS)