Airport will not be closed despite travel restrictions – Tourism Minister

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga says that despite strict travel restrictions in the country, there are no plans to close the airport.

The Minister said that this decision will not be taken as the closure of the airport could deprive overseas Sri Lankans of the opportunity to enter the country. He said the airport activities will continue as per the health recommendations.

Speaking to the media after an event held to hand over the temporary Covid ward constructed by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna at the Wathupitiwela Hospital in Attanagalla to the Health Department, the Minister said pointed out that several countries have imposed a temporary ban on air travel to Sri Lanka.

“Some countries have suspended travel today. Travel bans have been imposed on those traveling from Sri Lanka. We have to work according to those restrictions. Countries like Kuwait and Dubai have stopped flights not only from Sri Lanka but also from several Asian countries. We always follow health recommendations. There will be no change in the future.”

“We will take further action as per the instructions given to us by the health sector. At present a person coming to Sri Lanka by air has to be quarantined for 14 days,” the Minister emphasized.

“We have a responsibility to the people in the country as well as to themigrant workers. Therefore, as a responsible government we will never ignore health recommendations. The government is working to vaccinate everyone in the country in the next few months,” he said.

He further said that the government has taken the necessary steps to obtain the Chinese and Russian vaccines as well as the second dose of the first Covishield vaccine.

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