SLTDA warns ‘Safe and Secure’ certified hotels

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has warned “Safe and Secure” certified hotels that they risk losing their certification if the guidelines issued by the SLTDA and health authorities are violated.

Issuing a notice to hotels, travel agents, and tour operators, the SLTDA said only Level 1 “Safe and Secure” certified hotels can accept foreign tourists during the first 14 days of their stay.

Other “Safe and Secure” certified hotels can only accept local community members or foreigners authorised to enter the community after completing 14 days in the bio bubble.

All Level 1 “Safe and Secure” certified hotels are strictly required to ensure they are adhering to the Level 1 safety protocols to ensure the safety of their guests and the local community.

The SLTDA said all “Safe and Secure” hotels, including Level 1 hotels, violating the SLTDA guidelines and Ministry of Health protocols will be penalised with immediate suspension of their “Safe and Secure” certification status until further notice.

In a scenario when there are repeated violations of guidelines, the certificate will be cancelled, the Authority warned.

The SLTDA further said a Level 1 hotel whose “Safe and Secure” certification is suspended will not be able to accept any further new bookings from foreign guests for the first 14 days of their stay until the hotel’s certification is reinstated.

All hotels have been advised to strictly ensure that they are catering to the local and foreign markets separately during the first 14 days of arrival of all international guests where they are expected to stay or visit within the bio bubble.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority further said all hotels have been advised to take every precaution with respect to the ongoing pandemic and follow the SLTDA and Health Ministry guidelines and safety protocols at all times during operations to ensure the health and wellbeing of guests and industry partners.

Over 50 hotels were approved as “Safe and Secure” Level 1 hotels to host foreign tourists arriving in Sri Lanka under a bio bubble.

Sri Lanka reopened its borders for tourism in January, after being closed for close to 10 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Colombo Gazette)

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