Committee to draft guidelines to open borders

By Easwaran Rutnam

A committee has been appointed to draft guidelines to reopen Sri Lanka’s borders for foreign tourists.

The joint committee consists of officials representing the tourism sector and the health sector.

A discussion in this regard was held yesterday with the participation of the Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and recently appointed State Minister for Primary Health Services, Infectious Diseases and Covid-19 Prevention Sudarshini Fernandopulle.

Tourism Ministry sources said that experts from the travel and tourism trade, including Hiran Cooray are in the joint committee.

Nimesh Herath, Coordinator to the Minister of Tourism, who was recently appointed to a Tourism Advisory Committee, is also in the joint committee.

The joint committee will meet for the first time tomorrow (Saturday) to discuss the way forward.

Sri Lanka had been forced to close its borders for tourists as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

This has severely affected the tourism industry in Sri Lanka with hotels being forced to cut costs and some even being temporarily closed.

Last month Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga had proposed two options to resume tourism in Sri Lanka.

The Minister had told the Tourism Advisory Committee to consider a travel bubble with selected countries or open the country to all tourists under strict conditions.

It has now been decided to consider opening the entire country to all tourists.

The joint committee appointed yesterday will discuss and draft a set of guidelines to be followed by tourists and airport officials when the borders are opened. (Colombo Gazette)

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