The resumption of tourism follows a pilot project that began December 26 in which 1,500 tourists from Ukraine visited Sri Lanka in such a travel bubble.(Unsplash)
The resumption of tourism follows a pilot project that began December 26 in which 1,500 tourists from Ukraine visited Sri Lanka in such a travel bubble.(Unsplash)

Sri Lanka reopens to tourists after 10 months

Sri Lanka reopened to foreign tourists Thursday after a nearly 10-month pandemic closure that cut deeply into the Indian Ocean island nation's lucrative travel industry.
AP, Colombo, Sri Lanka
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 03:44 PM IST

Sri Lanka reopened to foreign tourists Thursday after a nearly 10-month pandemic closure that cut deeply into the Indian Ocean island nation's lucrative travel industry.

Full operations also resumed Thursday at the island's two international airports, accommodating the commercial flights.

Under new protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19, tourists must be tested for the virus in their country 72 hours prior to their flight, when they arrive at their hotel in Sri Lanka and again seven days later. They must stay in a “travel bubble” designated in 14 tourism zones without mixing with the local population. About 180 hotels have been earmarked for tourist accommodations.

The resumption of tourism follows a pilot project that began December 26 in which 1,500 tourists from Ukraine visited Sri Lanka in such a travel bubble.

The government closed the country to tourists last March when an outbreak of the virus surfaced. The international airports were closed except for limited flights enabling Sri Lankans to return home.

Tourism is a vital economic sector for Sri Lanka, accounting for about 5% of its gross domestic product and employing 250,000 people directly and up to 3 million indirectly. Hotels, other businesses and their employees faced crippling income losses.

Sri Lanka had fewer than 4,000 cases of coronavirus infection until October when clusters centered on a garment factory and fish market spread in the capital, Colombo, and its suburbs. As of Thursday, it has confirmed more than 55,000 cases with 274 fatalities.

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
In the search of spiritual solace
In the search of spiritual solace

In the search of spiritual solace

By Swati Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 01:25 AM IST
From quaint ashrams reverberating with Vedic chants to Sufi shrines with magical and divine qawwalis, India offers a healing balm to the worn out soul
Close
Business travel estimated to not recover to its pre-pandemic peak until 2025(Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash)
Business travel estimated to not recover to its pre-pandemic peak until 2025(Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash)

Business travel estimated to not recover to its pre-pandemic peak until 2025

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:51 PM IST
Business travel to miss out on recovery until 2025 since only 27% of companies expect to spend money on travel in the next six months as many have found better substitutes to reach customers via teleconferencing and saved billions in transportation costs during the Covid-19 lockdown
Close
Ahead of Easter holidays, Germany drafts plans to start easing Covid-19 lockdown(Photo by Stefan Widua on Unsplash)
Ahead of Easter holidays, Germany drafts plans to start easing Covid-19 lockdown(Photo by Stefan Widua on Unsplash)

Ahead of Easter holidays, Germany drafts plans to start easing Covid-19 lockdown

Reuters
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:35 PM IST
Germany to tentatively start easing Covid-19 restrictions from next week given that months of lockdowns have pushed down infection and death rates. However new daily cases have begun creeping up again amid the spread of coronavirus variants while vaccine roll-out is sluggish
Close
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul applaud next to a container as they attend the arrival of a plane with a shipment of 200,000 doses of the Sinovac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from China at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, February 24, 2021.(Reuters)
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul applaud next to a container as they attend the arrival of a plane with a shipment of 200,000 doses of the Sinovac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from China at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, February 24, 2021.(Reuters)

Thai PM orders study on "vaccine passports" to boost tourism

Reuters, Bangkok
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:21 PM IST
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thailand will proceed with caution, waiting to see how effective vaccines are first in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
Close
Austria plans to let cafe and restaurant terraces reopen this month(Pexels)
Austria plans to let cafe and restaurant terraces reopen this month(Pexels)

Cafe and restaurant terraces to reopen this month in Austria

Reuters, Vienna
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 07:22 AM IST
On Monday, the government officials announced that coronavirus lockdown restrictions will become less stringent in Austria and as a result, the cafe and restaurant terraces can reopen this month.
Close
Valdes’s comments come amid optimism in the European tourism industry sparked by the announcement last week of the U.K.’s plan to lift all coronavirus related restrictions by June 21. (Unsplash)
Valdes’s comments come amid optimism in the European tourism industry sparked by the announcement last week of the U.K.’s plan to lift all coronavirus related restrictions by June 21. (Unsplash)

Spain to consider bilateral deals and travel corridors

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 07:53 PM IST
Spain is ready to consider bilateral deals and corridors “with third countries” if a solution on vaccine certificates cannot be reached at the European Union level, according to Tourism Secretary Fernando Valdes.
Close
Round-the-world cruises are selling out (Unsplash)
Round-the-world cruises are selling out (Unsplash)

World tour cruises for the next year are selling out already

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 11:58 AM IST
Globetrotters who have been staying put for the past year are trying to make up for lost time and booking expensive multimonth cruise itineraries for the next year.
Close
Jammu and Kashmir(Unsplash)
Jammu and Kashmir(Unsplash)

Union Tourism Secretary: Sustainable tourism only way of expanding sector

PTI, Srinagar
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 07:32 AM IST
On Sunday, Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh said that sustainable tourism is the only way of expanding and it will bring a much-needed change in Jammu and Kashmir.
Close
Australian regional airline Rex to launch more flights amid Covid-19(Twitter/THE_Russell)
Australian regional airline Rex to launch more flights amid Covid-19(Twitter/THE_Russell)

Australian regional airline Rex to launch more flights amid Covid-19

Reuters
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:01 PM IST
At a time when domestic air traffic remains low due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Australian regional airline, Rex, to challenge Qantas and Virgin on the country's big-city routes by launching more flights in competition
Close
Zojila pass, Srinagar-Leh highway reopen for vehicular traffic after 58 days(Twitter/fc_kangana)
Zojila pass, Srinagar-Leh highway reopen for vehicular traffic after 58 days(Twitter/fc_kangana)

Zojila pass, Srinagar-Leh highway reopen for vehicular traffic after 58 days

ANI
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:46 PM IST
After clearing the snow along the Zojila pass, Srinagar-Leh highway has been declared open from February 28
Close
Dubai's first cat cafe, Ailuromania, hopes rescues will find purr-fect new homes(Twitter/fahiiHA/rapplerdotcom)
Dubai's first cat cafe, Ailuromania, hopes rescues will find purr-fect new homes(Twitter/fahiiHA/rapplerdotcom)

Dubai's first cat cafe, Ailuromania, hopes rescues will find purr-fect new homes

Reuters
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:24 PM IST
The Ailuromania Cat Cafe, which was the Middle East's first cat cafe when it opened in 2015, hopes the relaxing properties of its 25 rescue and shelter cats will help find them their forever homes.
Close
In a notification, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) said that the instructions issued on December 31, 2020 would remain in place till March 14.(Unsplash)
In a notification, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) said that the instructions issued on December 31, 2020 would remain in place till March 14.(Unsplash)

Pakistan extends travel restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise

PTI, Islamabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 01:37 PM IST
Pakistan’s aviation authority on Saturday extended the existing restrictions for all inbound travellers for another two weeks as the nation continues to witness a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
Close
The Odisha Government has limited the measures to passengers from five high-risk states instead of twelve.(Unsplash)
The Odisha Government has limited the measures to passengers from five high-risk states instead of twelve.(Unsplash)

Odisha limits precautionary measures for travellers from five high-risk states

ANI, Bhubaneswar (odisha) [india]
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:23 AM IST
Odisha Government has made a partial modification to its earlier precautionary measures issued for the passengers travelling from other States to Odisha.
Close
Imradul Ali, 10, looks for recyclable material at a landfill on the outskirts of Guwahati, India, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.(AP)
Imradul Ali, 10, looks for recyclable material at a landfill on the outskirts of Guwahati, India, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.(AP)

From school to rag picking: A day in the life of a child scavenger in India

AP, Guwahati, Assam
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:10 PM IST
Once school is done for the day, 10-year-old Imradul Ali rushes home to change out of his uniform so he can start his job as a scavenger in India’s remote northeast. Armed with a gunny sack, he goes to a landfill in the slums of Guwahati, the capital of Assam state.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Poughkeepsie is top pick for New Yorkers seeking small-town life amid pandemic

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 04:54 PM IST
New York-to-Poughkeepsie ranked as the eighth most popular relocation in a survey of Americans who left big cities last year -- up from 17th a year earlier.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP