News

Quarantine package for Indians under fire

  • 13 nights plus 2 PCR tests for $ 690 per head

  • Tourism authorities, Opposition critical

 

The quarantine related travel package offered to Indian nationals visiting Sri Lanka is not being encouraged by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, The Morning learnt.

The quarantine related travel package offer was released by travel agencies for visiting Indian nationals. The package includes 13 nights’ accommodation in a three-star hotel with two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The cost per person is estimated as $ 690.

Speaking to The Morning, Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism S. Hettiarachchi said that this tour package was offered to Indian travellers without informing the Sri Lankan authorities.

“Sri Lanka is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic. So is India .We don’t want more trouble coming our way. Some agencies created these packages without our knowledge, which we don’t encourage,” he added.

When The Morning questioned a travel agent who offered said quarantine related travel package, they said that it was no longer valid.

“The Government did not support this, so we had to stop it temporarily.”

When queried as to since when they had begun promoting this package, they declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva also tweeted regarding the matter, questioning: “Should we be encouraging this at this time?”

However, Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, during the weekly Cabinet media briefing, said that these claims are an absolute lie.

“I see this as a political plan more than anything else. There is no process to facilitate quarantine for Indian nationals. We are presently preparing for the domestic situation,” he further added.