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June 2, 2021

Sri Lanka reopens Colombo International Airport amid lockdown

Although Colombo International Airport is reopened, Sri Lanka imposes a ban on travellers from India and Vietnam.

Sri Lanka has reportedly reopened its Colombo International Airport (CMB) for inbound travellers, except from India and Vietnam, amid the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

The first flight with 53 passengers landed from Doha, Qatar, at the airport, which remained closed for ten days for arrivals.

In addition to undertaking a PCR test three weeks before arrival, passengers are required to undergo another test once they arrive at the airport.

Moreover, the passengers are required to remain in quarantine for 14 days prior to stepping out.

Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority additional director general P A Jayakantha was reported by the Press Trust of India (PTI) as saying that those with a travel record to India and Vietnam over the last 14 days will not be allowed to land at the airport.

In addition to banning the entry of Indian and Vietnamese passengers, Sri Lankans and other travellers who resided in India and Vietnam for the past 14 days or used their airports for transit are also barred from entering the airport.

However, the airport plans to end the internal travel restrictions on 7 June 2021. They were effective since mid-May 2021 and allowed only essential services.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) director-general Dhammika Wijesinghe was cited by the news agency as saying that tourists would be allowed to enter but with strict adherence to Covid-19 health guidelines.

Colombo Gazette reported Airport and Aviation Services chairman Major General G A Chandrasiri as saying that since the reopening of Sri Lanka’s airport at midnight, six flights with a total of 569 passengers have arrived.

Since 15 April 2021, Sri Lanka recorded over 80,000 new Covid-19 infections in the third wave.

In an effort to contain the disease, the country is implementing inter-provincial travel restrictions.

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