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Travel bubble with India postponed indefinitely 

20 Apr 2021

  • Was set to commence on 26 April 

  • India reports record cases and deaths 

  • New Delhi under lockdown 

  As New Delhi declared a six day lockdown due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, Sri Lanka has postponed its travel bubble with India that was set to be operative from 26 April, The Morning learnt.  Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday (19) that a decision was taken yesterday to postpone the travel bubble given the surge of Covid-19 cases in India and that the programme is expected to be resumed as soon as possible once the Covid-19 situation in India permits it.  “A decision was made yesterday to postpone the travel bubble with India that was set to start on 26 April. However, we hope to start it as soon as possible when the Covid-19 situation in India permits it.”  Thus, the travel of Sri Lankans to India and the travel of Indian tourists to Sri Lanka under this bubble has been postponed.  The bilateral air bubble arrangement between India and Sri Lanka for the operation of special international passenger flights between the two countries is a joint program under the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs, and the Ministry of Tourism of Sri Lanka.  As India is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases and is preparing for a third wave, the City of New Delhi has imposed a six-day lockdown. However, no restrictions on inter-State and intra-State movement or the transportation of essential goods have been imposed.  India reported a record rise in coronavirus infections of 273,810 on Sunday (18) and hospitals across the country struggled with a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen supplies.  The country’s deaths from Covid-19 also rose by a record 1,619 to reach a total of 178,769, according to health ministry data yesterday.  India has the fourth highest number of deaths after the US, Brazil, and Mexico and its overall Covid-19 cases have now passed 15 million, second only to the US globally.

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