HomeAsiaSri Lanka reopens borders to international travelers

Sri Lanka reopens borders to international travelers

(CNN) — The island nation of Sri Lanka is now open to vacationers from all nations.

Sri Lanka Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga made the official announcement throughout a press convention on Thursday, confirming they’d reopen the nation’s borders from January 21. Both of the nation’s international airports reopened on the identical day.

“The livelihood of around 3 million people depends on tourism in Sri Lanka,” Ranatunga instructed media. “It is our national responsibility to take into consideration the needs of our citizens that depend on this industry.”

As a part of efforts to stop the unfold of Covid-19, Sri Lanka created a “bio bubble,” which is able to give guests a relative quantity of freedom to journey throughout the nation whereas nonetheless observing security protocols.

Though there is no such thing as a minimal time {that a} customer should spend within the nation, anybody coming from overseas should keep in a government-approved lodge or resort for up to two weeks upon arrival.

That signifies that travelers solely coming for a brief journey will simply keep of their resort all the time, whereas people who find themselves planning longer stays shall be ready to transfer extra freely inside Sri Lanka as soon as they full their two-weeks of semi-quarantine.

Unlike locations like Hong Kong and Australia, the place individuals quarantining upon arrival must stay in their hotel rooms for all the period, Sri Lanka’s rules are a bit laxer. Guests may have free rein on-property, to allow them to use services like swimming pools, gyms, salons and eating places.
Travelers may go away the lodge throughout quarantine to go sightseeing, supplied they achieve this fastidiously. About a dozen tourism sites and attractions are open to international guests, however with caveats.

The five-star Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle is on the checklist of accepted lodges.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle

For occasion, as a part of the “bio bubble,” points of interest like Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) and the Royal Botanic Gardens, each within the central metropolis of Kandy, require guests to come as a part of an organized tour group or with an accepted Sri Lankan information.

They should journey in a personal car and never make any unauthorized facet stops. Some websites will solely permit vacationers throughout designated time slots or on sure days of the week.

Currently, 55 lodges and resorts fall underneath the “safe and secure level one” pointers. They aren’t allowed to settle for any native friends or host any occasions whereas they’re a part of the bio bubble.

With further safety comes further charges.

In addition to paying for flights and lodging, travelers are accountable for the price of Sri Lanka’s government-sanctioned medical health insurance ($12 US) and up to three Covid checks in-country ($40 every).

Everyone coming into the nation should present proof of a adverse coronavirus take a look at taken inside 96 hours of journey and fill out a web-based well being declaration type. Guests shall be examined once more at their very own expense on the fifth and seventh days after arriving and folks staying longer than seven days may have to take a 3rd take a look at the next week.

Once the 2 weeks are up they usually have a adverse coronavirus take a look at, travelers can keep at their lodge or swap to one other one of many accepted lodges. Airbnbs, visitor homes and different types of lodging are off limits. Taking public transit is discouraged.

All potential travelers should apply for a visa online and obtain the Visit Sri Lanka app. The app shall be used for contact tracing in addition to storing details about take a look at outcomes and lodge bookings.
Sigiriya Fortress is among the dozen or so Sri Lanka attractions open to foreign tourists.

Sigiriya Fortress is among the many dozen or so Sri Lanka points of interest open to international vacationers.

ALEX OGLE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

While almost each nation can demonstrably present that its tourism income had taken successful amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sri Lanka has suffered from notably unfortunate timing.

Following the preliminary Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, most nations in Asia closed their borders to tourism and few have reopened since. Sri Lanka will join the Maldives as certainly one of two locations within the area with open borders.
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