Sri Lanka reopens borders to global travelers

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

Sri Lanka Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga created the official announcement for the duration of a push convention on Thursday, confirming they would reopen the country’s borders from January 21. Both of those of the country’s intercontinental airports reopened on the similar day.

“The livelihood of about 3 million people today depends on tourism in Sri Lanka,” Ranatunga told media. “It is our countrywide accountability to choose into thought the requires of our citizens that count on this marketplace.”

As part of initiatives to prevent the unfold of Covid-19, Sri Lanka designed a “bio bubble,” which will give people a relative total of independence to vacation within the place whilst nonetheless observing basic safety protocols.

While there is no minimal time that a visitor have to shell out in the state, any individual coming from abroad have to remain in a government-permitted hotel or vacation resort for up to two months upon arrival.

That indicates that tourists only coming for a short vacation will just continue to be in their resort the entire time, when individuals who are scheduling longer stays will be in a position to transfer far more freely in just Sri Lanka as soon as they entire their two-weeks of semi-quarantine.

Unlike areas like Hong Kong and Australia, where by individuals quarantining on arrival need to continue to be in their lodge rooms for the overall period, Sri Lanka’s rules are a little bit laxer. Visitors will have absolutely free rein on-assets, so they can use amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, salons and places to eat.
Travelers can also leave the lodge all through quarantine to go sightseeing, furnished they do so meticulously. About a dozen tourism web-sites and sights are open to overseas people, but with caveats.
The five-star Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle is on the list of approved hotels.

The five-star Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle is on the list of approved accommodations.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle

For occasion, as portion of the “bio bubble,” sights like Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) and the Royal Botanic Gardens, the two in the central city of Kandy, have to have people to appear as section of an organized tour team or with an accepted Sri Lankan information.

They should journey in a personal car and not make any unauthorized facet stops. Some web sites will only permit travellers in the course of designated time slots or on selected days of the 7 days.

At this time, 55 motels and resorts drop less than the “secure and safe amount one” suggestions. They are not permitted to settle for any regional visitors or host any functions even though they are aspect of the bio bubble.

With extra security comes extra service fees.

In addition to paying out for flights and lodging, vacationers are accountable for the expense of Sri Lanka’s federal government-sanctioned overall health coverage ($12 US) and up to a few Covid checks in-state ($40 each individual).

Every person coming into the state have to exhibit evidence of a negative coronavirus test taken inside 96 several hours of journey and fill out an on-line health declaration kind. Company will be examined once again at their have expenditure on the fifth and seventh days just after arriving and persons keeping lengthier than seven times will have to get a 3rd take a look at the adhering to 7 days.

As soon as the two months are up and they have a destructive coronavirus examination, vacationers can continue to be at their hotel or swap to yet another just one of the accepted motels. Airbnbs, guest residences and other forms of accommodation are off restrictions. Getting public transit is discouraged.

All possible tourists should implement for a visa on-line and download the Stop by Sri Lanka application. The application will be utilized for speak to tracing as properly as storing info about examination results and hotel bookings.
Sigiriya Fortress is among the dozen or so Sri Lanka attractions open to foreign tourists.

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

ALEX OGLE/AFP/AFP/Getty Illustrations or photos

Whilst virtually each individual nation can demonstrably clearly show that its tourism profits had taken a strike amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sri Lanka has suffered from specially unlucky timing.

Subsequent the first Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, most nations around the world in Asia closed their borders to tourism and number of have reopened given that. Sri Lanka will sign up for the Maldives as a single of two places in the area with open borders.