News

Reopening country for tourism postponed indefinitely

By Skandha Gunasekara

The reopening of the tourism sector for international travellers has been postponed indefinitely, The Morning learnt.

Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that it has been postponed as the exodus of expats returning posed a risk.

“If foreigners also start entering the country soon after, it could make matters worse. Already there is a risk of a second wave as result of a Sri Lankan returning from overseas,” he said.

He noted that several countries that had supposedly contained the pandemic were now experiencing a resurgence of cases.
“China and Australia are two countries to name a few that have seen a sudden spike in cases due to reopening borders and easing lockdowns. Tourism should be reopened gradually. I believe the Government has already decided to postpone their plans (of reopening).”

Dr. Soyza said that a date to reopen could only be decided upon considering the conditions of the pandemic.

Government Spokesman Keheliya Rambuwella told The Morning that the Government schedule for reopening has been changed.

“Plans to open up the country to foreign tourism had to be delayed. We will have to take into consideration all conditions before deciding on when to reopen,” Rambukwella said.