Airport to fully open for tourists on 23rd, travellers allowed to visit 12 sites

January 5, 2021 at 1:15 PM

The Government will completely reopen all international Airports in Sri Lanka for foreigners from 23 January 2021.

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the airports are being reopened as part of the Government’s plan to kick start the tourism industry in a bid to help the economy of the country impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Over 560 tourists from Ukraine have already arrived in Sri Lanka under the pilot project that was implemented by the Government from December 2020.

Speaking during a special meeting yesterday, Minister Ranatunga further said 12 tourist attractions have been introduced as hotspots for foreign tourists arriving in Sri Lanka.

He further directed officials to strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols outlined by the Government.

The 12 tourist hotspots could be only visited by the tourists after all their mandatory PCR tests are negative.

The 12 tourism sites include;

1. Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa)
2. Yala National Park
3. Minneriya National Park
4. Sigiriya
5. Dambulla Temple
6. Udawalawe
7. Horton Plains
8. Sinharaja Forest
9. Peradeniya Botanic Gardens
10. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
11. Whale watching
12. Salusala- the State-owned handloom enterprise.

Minister Ranatunga said the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) should coordinate the visits of tourists to the sites and instructed to take further action in accordance with the health guidelines to prevent the contact of tourists and the general public in these sites.

He further directed officials to take immediate action to prevent a recurrence of the situation that has arisen due to Ukrainian tourists visiting the Yala National Park.

Safari Jeep divers involved in the excursion had claimed that they were forced to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14-days after the tour without prior notice, while the SLTDA said it was unaware of the excursions undertaken by the tourists to the National Park and Mirissa for whale watching. (NewsWire)