BIA Duty-free shops reopened for passengers who returned during pandemic

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Duty-free shops at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake reopened today to facilitate passengers who returned during the COVID-19 pandemic to purchase goods.

Many passengers who had returned to Sri Lanka during the Coronavirus pandemic from March to May were denied an opportunity to purchase duty-free goods at the airport due to the quarantine procedure implemented by the Government.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Airport and Aviation Services G. A. Chandrasiri told the Colombo Gazette that as a result, measures were taken to reopen the duty-free stores at the BIA from today for the benefit of the passengers affected due to COVID-19.

Selected passengers will be granted an opportunity to purchase goods from the duty-free shops for a period of one month starting from today (06), as approved by Sri Lanka Customs, he said.

Major General Chandrasiri said passengers who arrived between March- May and had completed the necessary quarantine procedures will only be allowed to purchase goods from the duty -free stores.

“Passengers fitting the criteria will require to register at the Airport via telephone to be entitled to purchase goods from the duty-free stores. Following their registration, a date and time will be allocated for this purpose”, he said.

Chandrasiri further said 100 persons per day from the registered passengers will be facilitated to purchase goods from the duty- free shops at the BIA.

The selected passengers will be required to submit certain documents, including their passports and certification on the completion of quarantine issued by the Ministry of Health.

Measures have been taken to provide transport for the passengers to return home with their purchased goods, he added.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Airport and Aviation Services said visitors were allowed to accompany passengers departing from Sri Lanka at the BIA from yesterday (05).

Chandrasiri said 5 visitors per passenger will be allowed at the lobby of the Departure Lounge. (Colombo Gazette)