Despite COVID, moves to bring Russian & German tourists

The Ministry of Tourism has sought approval from the cabinet of Ministers to restart the tourism industry by inviting groups of Russian and German tourists to Sri Lanka.

According to the Sunday Times, the Ministry hopes to invite groups of 50 tourists each from Russia and Germany, despite a spike in coronavirus cases in Sri Lanka.

Tourism Ministry Secretary S Hettiarachchi says the tourists will land at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport and a few Southern province hotels have been selected to accommodate the tourists.

According to the Tourism Ministry, two private hospitals and the Kotalawala Defence Academy have been allocated to conduct PCR tests on the tourists. In the event a tourist tests positive, the patient will be admitted to one of the two private hospitals or to the Dr. Neville Fernando hospital.

The Ministry will subject the tourists to PCR tests 14- days prior to permitting them to tour the country. They will be allowed to visit the beach area near their accommodation, while the Military is to be deployed in these areas to prevent interaction with locals.

As per the proposal, the staff of the hotels will be required to remain at the hotel for the duration of the tourists visit, while the hotel will be restricted to the visiting tourists.

According to the Sunday Times, Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga has informed the Tourism Ministry that he is capable of bringing down 44,000 Russian tourists to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is yet to reopen the country for tourism since the initial coronavirus outbreak in March, and is currently battling the “second wave” of the virus, further delaying the reopening of airports. (NewsWire)

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