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Sri Lanka has suspended all inbound international flights from May 21 till May 31 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) stated that the flight suspension will be in force from midnight of May 21 until midnight of May 31.
The CAASL also stated that the passengers who need to leave the country on an urgent basis shall be allowed to do so during this period through other international transit flights (with a halt of fewer than 12 hours) and flights originating from the country.
URGENT and IMPORTANT— CAASL - Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (@caaslofficial) May 20, 2021
TO ALL AIRLINES pic.twitter.com/RvkZWydaXk
A list of four exceptions have been declared by the aviation authority - emergency aircraft diversion to Bandaranaike International Airport and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, technical landings, freighter operations, and humanitarian flights, and inbound ferry flights without passengers.
Earlier Sri Lanka had announced that the country will return to a form of continuous lockdown by way of travel restrictions from May 21. The restrictions on movement will be in force from 11 pm on May 21 and will continue till 4 am on May 25. These restrictions are likely to be reimposed at 11 pm on May 25 and will remain in place till May 29.
On May 19, Sri Lanka recorded the highest number of cases at 3,623, and highest number of daily fatalities at 36. The total number of COVID-19 deaths were at 1,051 while the total number of active cases were 151,343.
Other Indian Ocean island nations such Maldives and Seychelles, who had opened their international borders for tourists after a successful vaccination drive, are currently witnessing a second wave of COVID-19 as well and have halted tourism from other countries.
The Maldives had earlier announced a ban on travellers from South Asian countries, including India, in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases. From May 13, visas for tourists from India have been halted.
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