Sri Lanka reopens borders for international travelers

(CNN)- The island nation of Sri Lanka is now open to tourists from all countries.

Tourism Minister Plazanna Ranatunga of Sri Lanka made an official announcement at a press conference on Thursday, confirming that the border will resume on January 21st. On the same day, both international airports reopened.

“About 3 million people depend on tourism in Sri Lanka,” Rana Tunga told the media. “It is our country’s responsibility to consider the needs of the citizens who depend on this industry.”

As part of its efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Sri Lanka has created a “biobubble”. This gives visitors relatively freedom to move around the country while adhering to safety protocols.

There is no minimum time a visitor needs to spend in the country, but foreigners must stay in a government-approved hotel or resort for up to two weeks upon arrival.

This means that travelers who only visit for short trips will only stay at the resort for a long time, but those planning a long stay will have more freedom to move around Sri Lanka after completing the two-week semi-quarantine. Will be.

Different from places to quarantine on arrival, such as Hong Kong and Australia Must stay in a hotel room During the period, Sri Lanka’s regulations are a little loose. Guests can manage the property free of charge and have access to facilities such as a pool, gym, salon and restaurant.
Travelers can also leave the hotel for sightseeing during the quarantine, if done carefully.about Dozen tourist destinations and attractions It is open to foreign visitors, but be careful.

The 5-star Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle is included in the list of approved hotels.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle

For example, as part of the “Bio Bubble”, attractions such as Sri Lanka’s Sri Dalada Temple and the Royal Botanic Gardens in the central city of Kandy require visitors to join an organized tour group. Or with an approved Sri Lankan guide.

They must travel in their own car and must not make unauthorized side stops. Some sites only allow tourists during designated times or on specific days of the week.

Currently, 55 hotels and resorts meet the “Safe and Secure Level 1” guidelines. While part of the biobubble, you are not allowed to accept local guests or host events.

There is an additional charge for additional security.

In addition to paying for flights and accommodation, travelers will be responsible for Sri Lanka’s government-approved health insurance ($ 12 US) and up to three Covid tests in the country ($ 40 each).

Everyone entering the country must present proof that the coronavirus test performed within 96 hours of travel is negative and complete an online health report. Guests will be retested at their own expense on the 5th and 7th days of arrival, and those staying for more than 7 days will be required to take the third test the following week.

After two weeks and a negative coronavirus test, travelers can stay at their hotel or switch to another approved hotel. Airbnb, guest houses and other forms of accommodation are off limits. We do not recommend using public transport.

All future travelers View online Then download the VisitSriLanka app. This app is used not only to track contacts, but also to store test results and information about hotel reservations.
Sigiriya Fortress is one of the attractions of Sri Lanka that is open to foreign tourists.

Sigiriya Fortress is one of the attractions of Sri Lanka that is open to foreign tourists.

ALEX OGLE / AFP / AFP / Getty Images

Almost every country can clearly show that tourism revenues have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but Sri Lanka suffers from particularly unlucky timings.

Following the first Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, most Asian countries have closed their borders to tourism, and few have since reopened.Sri Lanka Join the Maldives As one of two destinations in an open border area.

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