Sri Lanka on alert over new virus strain

Sri Lanka is on alert over the new coronavirus strain identified in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe, the Government said today.

Cabinet co-spokesman Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said the Government has taken necessary measures in this regard ahead of reopening the country for tourism from 26 December as part of a pilot project.

He told reporters at the weekly post-cabinet media briefing today that all measures will strictly adhere to the health guidelines issued on COVID-19.

All passengers will be required to undergo PCR tests prior to arriving and after landing in Sri Lanka. Depending on the PCR test result, they will be moved around in a travel bubble or in a group and will be facilitated to visit certain tourist attractions in the country.

Minister Pathirana said the decision was taken to reopen the country from this week, after taking into consideration many factors.

He pointed out that a key factor that was considered was the livelihoods of those engaged in the tourism sector. As a result, it was decided to reopen the country for tourism under certain restrictions in a bid to help the affected individuals and their families.

Stating that the Government has taken necessary precautionary measures with regard to the new coronavirus strain in the UK and Europe, Minister Ramesh Pathirana said all measures will strictly adhere to the health guidelines. (Colombo Gazette)

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