Covid-19 has become the worst global challenge in our lifetime which has severely affected the travel industry. This is a summary of developments in Sri Lanka.
UPDATE – 18th March 2020
Bandaranayaka Airport of Sri Lanka, the only international Airport in the country has stopped arrival flights from 18th March 2020, 12 midnight onwards. This will effect untill 31st of March.
Since the number of new COVID19 positive patience are increased upto 50 (as on 18th March 2020), government of Sri Lanka is taking strict procedures to control the pandemic to spread in Sri Lanka.
12th March 2020
Sri Lankan Goverment has suspended the on arrival visa faciltiy for all the countries from 12th March 2020. Therefore anyone who is planning to visit Sri Lanka has to obtain the visa from online. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/ to apply online visa.
Sri Lanka found 1st local COVID-19 positive person on 12th March 2020. The person is a Tourist Guide who handle Italian Tour Groups.
The country is following strict procedures to identify any new COVID-19 infected people around the country, especially from the people who are coming from other countries.
COVID-19 INFECTED PEOPLE IN SRI LANKA
Earlier, one Chinese national COVID-19 infected patient found inside the country who was a traveller from China and she was treated in a Sri Lankan hospital and fully recovered. The cured virus infected women was ceremonially sent back to China.
Apart from the above incident, there were a number patients tested negative for COVID-19 tests who arrived from numerous countries to Sri Lanka.
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA
It is estimated that around 10,000 Chinese nationals are living in Sri Lanka and Chinese embassy has postponed their nationals to come back to the workplaces in Sri lanka after the Chinese new year season.
China is the second highest tourism source of Sri Lanka but almost all the travel plans are cancelled due to the outbreak.
Sri Lankan students who were studying in China (including the estates that COVID-19 heavily spreaded) are back in Sri Lanka and the quarantine process of 14 days was applied for the students who came from the high risk areas of CoronaVirus. None of the students were identified as corona infected and they are back to the families now.
COVID-19 IS SPREADING ALL OVER THE WORLD
As the Covid-19 is spreading all over the World, especially in South Korea, Iran & Italy, Sri Lankan authorities have introduced special measurements to control outbreak in Sri Lanka. Anyone who arrive from South Korea, Irand or Italy has to go through 14 days compulsory quarantine period in a special allocated place in Sri Lanka. It is also advised by the goverment any local who are coming from abraod to stay 14 days inside the home before come in to the society for day-today work.