Sri Lanka reopens borders to global travelers

(CNN) — The island country of Sri Lanka is now open to visitors from all nations around the world.

Sri Lanka Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga produced the formal announcement in the course of a press conference on Thursday, confirming they would reopen the country’s borders from January 21. Both of those of the country’s worldwide airports reopened on the identical working day.

“The livelihood of about 3 million people is dependent on tourism in Sri Lanka,” Ranatunga advised media. “It is our countrywide accountability to just take into consideration the wants of our citizens that rely on this industry.”

As section of endeavours to stop the distribute of Covid-19, Sri Lanka designed a “bio bubble,” which will give website visitors a relative sum of independence to journey inside of the region when still observing protection protocols.

While there is no minimum time that a visitor will have to expend in the place, any person coming from overseas ought to keep in a federal government-permitted lodge or vacation resort for up to two weeks upon arrival.

That suggests that vacationers only coming for a brief trip will just continue to be in their resort the overall time, even though people today who are scheduling more time stays will be able to move a lot more freely inside Sri Lanka when they finish their two-months of semi-quarantine.

Contrary to sites like Hong Kong and Australia, exactly where individuals quarantining upon arrival will have to remain in their resort rooms for the whole period, Sri Lanka’s restrictions are a bit laxer. Visitors will have no cost rein on-house, so they can use amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, salons and dining establishments.
Tourists can also leave the hotel all through quarantine to go sightseeing, delivered they do so very carefully. About a dozen tourism sites and attractions are open up to international visitors, but with caveats.
The five-star Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle is on the list of approved hotels.

The 5-star Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle is on the list of accredited resorts.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle

For occasion, as section of the “bio bubble,” sights like Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) and the Royal Botanic Gardens, both of those in the central city of Kandy, involve site visitors to come as aspect of an arranged tour team or with an permitted Sri Lankan guidebook.

They will have to travel in a non-public car or truck and not make any unauthorized facet stops. Some web sites will only allow travellers for the duration of selected time slots or on certain times of the week.

Currently, 55 accommodations and resorts fall beneath the “secure and protected amount 1” tips. They are not authorized to accept any community guests or host any situations though they’re section of the bio bubble.

With further stability arrives excess costs.

In addition to having to pay for flights and lodging, tourists are accountable for the expense of Sri Lanka’s government-sanctioned wellbeing insurance policies ($12 US) and up to 3 Covid checks in-country ($40 just about every).

All people coming into the place have to demonstrate proof of a detrimental coronavirus take a look at taken inside 96 hours of vacation and fill out an on-line health and fitness declaration form. Friends will be analyzed all over again at their individual expense on the fifth and seventh days soon after arriving and people today staying extended than 7 days will have to take a 3rd exam the following week.

As soon as the two months are up and they have a detrimental coronavirus exam, tourists can stay at their resort or change to a further just one of the authorized motels. Airbnbs, guest homes and other forms of lodging are off boundaries. Using general public transit is discouraged.

All potential vacationers need to apply for a visa on-line and download the Stop by Sri Lanka app. The application will be utilised for contact tracing as very well as storing facts about examination effects and resort bookings.
Sigiriya Fortress is among the dozen or so Sri Lanka attractions open to foreign tourists.

Sigiriya Fortress is amid the dozen or so Sri Lanka sights open up to international holidaymakers.

ALEX OGLE/AFP/AFP/Getty Photographs

Whilst approximately each state can demonstrably demonstrate that its tourism profits had taken a strike amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sri Lanka has experienced from significantly unlucky timing.

Pursuing the preliminary Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, most nations in Asia closed their borders to tourism and handful of have reopened due to the fact. Sri Lanka will join the Maldives as a single of two locations in the location with open borders.