Vaccinated tourists to be free of quarantine or bubbles
The Government will soon permit tourists who have received both doses of an anti-Covid-19 vaccine to enter Sri Lanka without undergoing quarantine or having to travel in a bio bubble, The Morning learnt.
The Ministry of Tourism has requested the Health authorities for revisions in the health guidelines to facilitate these changes during a meeting recently, according to Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera.
“We had a meeting with the Tourism Ministry regarding revising the health guidelines and this would come into effect within a few days. Few aspects of the health guidelines would change during this week including the quarantine process and this would apply for tourists and repatriates,” Dr. Samaraweera told The Morning yesterday (15).
Those coming in to Sri Lanka after being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, which includes receiving both vaccination doses, are to be completely relieved of the need to undergo quarantine according to the new health guidelines.
Presently, tourists who arrive in Sri Lanka are required to undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and wait for the test report in a class one hotel. The ones who are Covid-19 negative are allowed to stay in the bio bubble and travel in selected locations.
Meanwhile, according to Ministry of Tourism sources, changes in the health guidelines would include reducing the quarantine days for staff members of the travel bubble including hotel staff, pilots and crew members.
The Ministry of Tourism has also requested to relax the health guidelines related to wellness tourism as visitors to wellness establishments are focused on treatments for weight loss, stress relief and detoxification, along with engaging in meditation and yoga.
Further, the health authorities have also taken a fresh decision to reduce the number of quarantine days for Sri Lankan citizens and foreigners residing here, who need to travel on business overseas, frequently. Such travellers will be subjected to a PCR test on the fifth day of their quarantine after they return and if they are found to be negative, they can exit the quarantine.
Those travelling on official tours, under a bio bubble, will also be subjected to a PCR test on the fifth day of their return, after which they can be relieved of the quarantine, once the PCR results are negative.