Unvaccinated have to follow mandatory health guidelines
By Yakuta DawoodThe current bio-bubble initiated by the Board of Investment (BOI) together with the health authorities does not permit unvaccinated investors and if they are to come into the country, they have to follow the existing mandatory health guidelines. Speaking to us, Foreign Ministry Media Secretary Buddhika Wickramadara stated that investors who wish to come to Sri Lanka via the bio-bubble are required to have received the Covid-19 vaccination. However, if they do not, they would be required to follow the health guidelines of quarantining, PCR testing, and other measures that are in place.“To curtail the ongoing Covid-19 situation, strict measures are in place, hence the health guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are applicable for all, despite the bio-bubble option,” Wickramadara added. Speaking to us, a BOI senior official who wished to remain anonymous stated that they are currently following the procedure established by the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Health. “Even though the investor bubble is located in one location, investors will still come into contact with people they are associating with, so inventors who are not vaccinated will not be allowed into the country unless they are following the health guidelines in place,” the official highlighted. In March 2021, the Ministry of Health recommended that Covid-19 preventive measures be practised throughout such visits via the bio-bubble in order to ensure that neither the local population nor visiting investors will be at risk of exposure to the virus.Commenting with regards to this, BOI Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala said that “a significant number of investors have shown interest in Sri Lanka, despite the impacts of the global pandemic, and measures such as the biosafety bubble are progressive steps towards regaining our country’s economic advantages”.Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) also recently announced that foreign tourists who plan to visit Sri Lanka will be able to travel under a bio-bubble system.According to the official statement, it also applies to the tourists who are already in the country. However, all tourists travelling under the bio-bubble system will have to do so while strictly adhering to the health guidelines.In order to facilitate this, SLTDA Director General Dhammika Wijesinghe stated that all relevant institutions and stakeholders have been instructed to follow the health guidelines when transporting tourists under this system and that stern action will be taken against individuals and institutions that do not follow these regulations.