Proposal to reopen airport for tourists from August 1 | Daily News


Proposal to reopen airport for tourists from August 1

All measures in keeping with international, local health guidelines
No community cases reported since April 30
Priority on reopening hotels, restaurants registered with the Tourism Authority
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa chairing the meeting. Picture by President’s Media Division.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa chairing the meeting. Picture by President’s Media Division.

The COVID Task Force has proposed to the President to reopen the airport from August 1 as the country is now returning to normalcy.

The Task Force members had pointed out that it is a victory that the country has gained that there have been no positive cases reported from the community from April 30 until yesterday (26).

The COVID Task Force met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (26) to discuss measures that needs to be taken to uplift the tourism industry which suffered a blow due to the Coronavirus.

During the meeting, the President highlighted the importance of complying with international and local health guidelines in opening up the country for tourism. The President said that by planning ahead, Sri Lanka could gain an advantage over other countries. Therefore, he said that all future steps should be taken after obtaining experts' advice in the tourism and health sectors.

It was decided to initially reopen the in-house dining of hotels and restaurants registered under the Tourism Promotion Authority. Based on the progress of the first step, all other hotels and restaurants will be allowed to reopen with the assistance of the military under the supervision of Public Health Inspectors. The President also instructed authorities to give preference to opening up hotels and restaurants in areas frequented by tourists and gave instructions to establish a tourist police division with those who are proficient in foreign languages.

"In attracting tourists, we must identify their preferences.Some may like to relax by the beaches and others may prefer to visit archaeological sites. Others may prefer the upcountry tea plantations. Therefore, all tourism promotion programmes should be planned accordingly," President Rajapaksa noted.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, President's Secretary Dr.P.B. Jayasundara and members of the COVID Task Force participated in this meeting with the President.


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