Maldives issues travel advisory on Sri Lanka

The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued an advisory for Maldivians traveling to Sri Lanka, as the country now requires all in-bound travelers to complete a 14-day quarantine at a location of the Sri Lankan government’s choosing, Raajje TV reported.

The Sri Lankan Government has strengthened Covid-19 health and safety restrictions across the country in order to curb the spread of the virus.

In issuing an advisory for Maldivian travelers to Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that one of the most important pandemic-response measures initiated by the government of Sri Lanka had been to strengthen quarantine protocols for travelers.

With the most recent changes, travelers to Sri Lanka from now until the 31 of May will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Travelers will to Sri Lanka will be asked to quarantine at a quarantine hotel designated by the Sri Lankan government, a quarantine center or a level-1 pandemic-safety certified hotel.

All travelers to Sri Lanka above the age of 12 will be required to complete the 14-day quarantine. Travelers will be permitted to leave quarantine only if their on-arrival PCR test, and exit tests taken on the 11th and 14th day of quarantine return negative for Covid-19.

Only children below the age of two will be exempt from taking the on-arrival and exit PCR tests. While Sri Lanka has brought critical changes to their quarantine procedure, the Foreign Ministry has revealed that those who wish to quarantine at hospitals for critical care will be permitted to do so with permission from the hospital and Sri Lanka’s health ministry, and that travelers will still be allowed to enter Sri Lanka to seek medical care. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued an advisory to Maldivian travelers to Sri Lanka, and notes that the present quarantine measures will be subject to change based on the state of the pandemic in the country. As such, the ministry has highlighted the importance of travelers to Sri Lanka seeking out information prior to departure about the restrictions.

A large community of Maldivians are based in Sri Lanka, including youth seeking education and families traveling for medical purposes. With over 138,000 cases of Covid-19 detected and almost a thousand deaths linked to the infection, Sri Lanka’s pandemic situation has been worsening with the introduction of the more virulent India Covid-19 variant.

The World Health Organization has revealed that aside from Sri Lanka, the India Covid-19 variant, which has been labeled as the “variant of concern” has thus far been identified in 17 world nations. (Colombo Gazette)