World News

Sri Lanka scraps on-arrival PCR testing for all travellers

Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella on Wednesday said that a mandatory on-arrival PCR test at the Bandaranaike International Airport has been scrapped for travellers who were fully vaccinated or produced a negative PCR test from their country of departure.

Rambukwella told Xinhua that the mandatory PCR testing had been scrapped from Wednesday for fully vaccinated travellers who had a negative result within 72 hours of departure.

Arrivals should also have their second dose administered two weeks prior to arrival, Rambukwella said. Sri Lanka is ready to re-open the country to tourists in a bid to strengthen its lucrative tourism industry which has employed over 4 million people directly or indirectly.

Authorities said they are now looking to ease a number of COVID-19 restrictions so that fully vaccinated travellers can travel to the country, in order to boost tourist arrivals and foreign exchange into the country. Since re-opening the borders on Jan. 21, Sri Lanka has recorded 24,337 tourist arrivals in the first eight months of this year.

According to official figures, tourist arrivals in August sharply increased by 107 percent to 5,040 from July, despite the ongoing third wave of the COVID-pandemic. The country has to date detected 515,524 positive COVID-19 patients since March last year and recorded 12,786 deaths.

Source: Reuters

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