Religious places re-opening in some states saw large crowds turn up to worship, despite strict rules of social distancing
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The island nation of Sri Lanka has announced that it will be ready to receive international travellers from August 1, 2020, subject to regular travel rules (visa, minimum stay, booking with certified accommodation providers, etc.) as well as pandemic-related regulations. Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo Ratmalana Airport and Mattala Rajapaksa Hambantota Airport will go operational for tourists from the same date. The airports will have high-intensity sanitation measures in place for all areas and staff. All tourist sites will be open from August 1 onwards with safety protocols and measures in place. Travellers have also been advised to arrange for transportation prior to their arrival, with a Certified Accommodation provider or travel agent and not to use public transport.
Sri Lanka is readying to welcome travellers from across the world with safety guidelines and precautionary measures.— Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (@sltda_srilanka) June 5, 2020
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. #sltourism #Recovery #postcovid19https://t.co/uzfd8EbVFL pic.twitter.com/PvL5KkQ3qe
Travellers will have to undergo a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours prior to boarding the Sri Lanka-bound international flight. On arrival in Sri Lanka, a PCR test (no charge) would be done at the airport, according to a press release issued by Sri Lanka Tourism. A further test will be done 4-5 days after arrival by a mobile unit in coordination with the traveller’s Certified Accommodation provider. Travellers staying for more than 10 days will be required to take a third test during their stay. Details about obtaining test results on arrival, quarantine and other rules are available here.
Another neighbour, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan (which reported few COVID-19 cases, all imported, and no death or community spread) has no immediate plans to open its doors to international travellers. One may recall, the tiny landlocked nation shares its international borders with China and India.
Bhutan, which has been following the ‘High Value, Low Volume’ tourism policy (a phrase coined by the King in 2019 to describe how the nation has always shunned mass tourism) had reiterated its stance restricting inbound tourism owing to the pandemic on March 18. At the moment, the nation is yet to set a date for reopening in the post-pandemic revival phase. According to reports, the date will be decided after the Tourism Council of Bhutan and other departments gain confidence about the global situation. And when it does open up, there will be strict protocols in place following the directives of the World Health Organisation and the nation’s Ministry of Health.
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