Tourism Chairperson defends request to relax guidelines for travellers 

By Easwaran Rutnam 

Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando has defended a decision to seek the further relaxation of Covid guidelines for travellers. 

In a letter sent to the Director General of Health Asela Gunawardena, the Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism has also requested that the mandatory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for fully vaccinated flight crew be removed.

Fernando sent the letter from Russia where she is on a visit to promote Sri Lanka for Russian tourists.

In the letter to Asela Gunawardena, Fernando has requested to remove the requirement of PCR tests 72-hours before boarding the flight for fully vaccinated passengers.

She has also requested the removal of PCR tests for children below the age of 12 in line with EU regulations.

Fernando has also requested Gunawardena to allow on-arrival rapid tests for fully vaccinated passengers on the tourist route and to be conducted at the airport.

Her letter drew strong criticism on social media saying if implemented it could pose a threat to airline crew and also the country.

“Sri Lanka tourism has always been responsible. When health permitted arrivals from India, tourism route was opened for only fully vaccinated. The requests made are based on best practice,” Kimarli Fernando told Daily Mirror.

She also said that the global health pandemic should not be politicized and that Sri Lankan’s successful vaccination program and gradual changes made to protocols in line with global best practices will support the economy through December winter bookings.  (Courtesy Daily Mirror)

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