Ministry proposes ‘channel’ system for managing travellers | Daily News


Tourism amidst COVID-19 pandemic:

Ministry proposes ‘channel’ system for managing travellers

The Ministry of Tourism has put forward a proposal to the Cabinet of Ministers regarding the allocation of different channels for travellers arriving in the country, Media Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Pradeep Anura Kumara said.

Yesterday, Kumara said, “The ministry has suggested to identify countries with extreme cases of COVID-19 under the channel of the Red Zone and divert them to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, while those from countries with low number of cases are to be diverted to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) under the Green Zone.”

He added that further suggestions were made about conducting Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests at localities close to the airport.

“Right now, only four tests per day can be conducted; but, if there are other localities close to the airport, around eight tests can be carried out. The tests are time-consuming, and is one of the factors we have highlighted in the proposal.”

Last week, the ministry had presented a proposal to the Cabinet, yet no response has been received regarding the opening of the airports for travellers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, it’s the repatriation process which is operating at the airport. On Thursday, around 200 stranded Sri Lankans had arrived from Nepal and Israel on a SriLankan Airlines charter flight.

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