Overseas Lankans can return without approval | Daily News

Overseas Lankans can return without approval

Should comply with paid quarantine:
Repariation flights to continue:
Foreign Ministry Secretary  Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage
Foreign Ministry Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage

Overseas Sri Lankans will be allowed to return to the country from December 26 without the approval of the Foreign Secretary or the Civil Aviation Authority subject to compliance with paid quarantining at a designated hotel, Foreign Ministry Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage has communicated to the Aviation and Airline authorities on Saturday.

Issuing new instructions on routine operations after the planned re-opening of the international airports on December 26, the Foreign Secretary said Sri Lankans or Foreigners of Sri Lankan origin (Holders of Dual Citizenship) would be allowed to travel on any commercial or non-repatriation flights to Sri Lanka without the approval of the Foreign Secretary or the Civil Aviation Authority.

This is however subject to the limit of passengers per flight determined by the Civil Aviation Authority, based on concurrence of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO).

However, the special flights to bring back the stranded Sri Lankan workers will continue in the meantime. “The Foreign Ministry and NOCPCO will arrange special repatriation flights for the Government quarantine facilities in coordination with Sri Lanka Missions abroad for migrant workers, students, patients, short term visa holders and Government and military officials,” the Revised Procedure for Inbound Travellers stated.

The new instructions were based on the joint decision made by Foreign Ministry, the Immigration Department and the Civil Aviation Authority and those were also agreed by the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation.

“It is the sole responsibility of the airline concerned to ensure that the passengers allowed on board under the above arrangement will strictly adhere to the paid quarantine,” the newly issued instructions said.

According to the revised procedure, exceptions to the paid quarantine arrangements can be granted for critical patients as well as Government and military officials on the recommendations made by the Sri Lanka diplomatic mission in the country of origin, when they travel on commercial or non-repatriation flights.

It has also been stated that the existing standard operating procedures will remain unchanged in respect of passengers originating from India.

“The existing procedure of granting individual permission will continue to be in force for foreigners, including members of the Diplomatic corps, foreign or international organizations based in Sri Lanka and returning Sri Lankan seafarers,” it added.

Foreign tourists will also be allowed into the country from December 26 subject to strict COVID testing and quarantine conditions, on pre-arranged visas.