Tourists arriving in Sri Lanka in the future must be armed with Covid-19 health clearance certificates approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and be subjected to rapid testing at the airport, under a set of new proposals to revive tourism in the country.
Visitors must clear a WHO-designated health test two weeks prior to arrival and pass a rapid health test at the airport before they will be allowed to get to immigration counters.
Under the proposed measures, future visitors will also need to book their accommodation in advance. Hotels will need to be certified as being Covid-19 prepared.
Detailing these measures in a webinar with other industry experts on Tuesday, Sri Lanka Tourism chairperson Kimarli Fernando added that a new visa process will also be implemented while visa-on-arrival will be terminated. The government is also deliberating the possibility of issuing five-year visas to encourage visitors to return.
Fellow speakers expressed hopes that Sri Lanka’s success in taming the viral spread – through a month-long countrywide lockdown and rigorous testing – will encourage travellers to regard Sri Lanka as a safe and healthy destination to visit once it is safe to do so.
So far, Sri Lanka has 309 cases, 100 recoveries and seven fatalities out of a population of 21.6 million people.