On Sunday, a tourism official of Sri Lanka announced that the country is planning to restart its tourism industry on August 1. Only small groups of travelers will initially be allowed.
Kimali Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, confirmed that from August only a small group of travelers from all over the world would be allowed to enter the country. They will have to stay only in approved 5- star hotels that run with full COVID-19 precautions.
How is the government planning to resume tourism services?
Fernando explained that travelers would be required to carry their COVID-19 test report. This report has to be issued by either a government or a reputed institution. Tourists will have to wait at the airport until they are tested for COVID-19.
In 2019, the country attracted around 2 million travelers, and the tourism industry added to the nation’s GDP around 11%. Fernando confirmed that President Rajapaksa and tourism industry professionals met together and reviewed the proposals. The main tourist season generally starts around the month of November.
The country’s two international airports may partially reopen if the government approves it. Both were previously closed due to coronavirus restrictions. Airports will have testing facilities and private hospitals will be available to provide assistance to tourists.
Tourist temperatures will be monitored at popular tourist sites like the Yala national park, Udawalawe, Arugam Bay, Trincomalee, and some beach areas.