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Friday August 19th, 2022

Fully vaccinated travellers can now enter Sri Lanka with one-day quarantine

ECONOMYNEXT – Fully vaccinated travelers can now visit Sri Lanka from Thursday (July 8) with only one-day in quarantine until on-arrival PCR tests are cleared, a ministry of health circular with fresh guidelines said.

Meanwhile Sri Lankans can return to the island without obtaining prior approval from the foreign ministry.

According to the circular published Wednesday (7), Sri Lankans or dual citizens arriving on Sri Lankan passports can directly book their tickets with their airlines. Clearance from the foreign ministry or the Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) is not required.

Upon arrival, passengers have the option to request a quarantine hotel or a government-run quarantine facility.

All travelers are allowed to enter via Sri Lanka Tourism and should obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) from the Sri Lanka Tourism website at https://www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/

Foreigners and dual citizens arriving on foreign passports through Sri Lanka Tourism are not required to obtain prior approval from the foreign ministry of Sri Lanka. Others must obtain prior approval via email by contacting entry.permission@mfa.gov.lk to arrive in the country.

As per the standard, all passengers must submit a negative PCR test report done 72-hours before boarding the flight. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted, according to the circular.

On arrival at the airport, passengers must submit a health declaration form to the airport health office staff and vaccination cards too must be submitted to the airport.

Passengers are to be immediately transferred to a government run quarantine centre, quarantine hotel or a Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 hotel. Government authorities or the hotel management must take the responsibility on a pre-determined manner.

Likewise travelers attached to diplomatic missions and agencies must liaise with their respective offices to arrange for transport to undergo quarantine.

All travelers despite vaccination status must undergo PCR while staying at their quarantine facilities from ministry approved laboratories. Government approved laborites can be found at the following link: http://www.health.gov.lk/moh_final/english/news_read_more.php?id=999)

Children below two-years are exempted from PCR tests.

If the on arrival (day one) PCR test report is negative, tourists arriving via Sri Lanka Tourism are allowed to move between Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 hotels in a bio-secure travel bubble and allowed to visit approved sites during the quarantine period, the circular said.

All travellers should immediately inform the area Medical Officer of Health (MOH) by telephone or email, upon arriving at their residence.

Foreigners can get the assistance of the hotel management/travel agents to find the contact details of area MOH.

According to the circular, travellers with a travel history (including transit) in the past 14 days to India,  Vietnam, South American countries and South African countries (South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe) will not be permitted to disembark in Sri Lanka until further notice.

Sri Lankan citizens from India, Vietnam, South American countries and South African countries are allowed to disembark in Sri Lanka with the permission of the Director General of Health Services/ Ministry of Health (dghs@health.gov.lk), followed by the permission of Foreign Ministry (entry.permission@mfa.gov.lk) and Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

They too have to undergo mandatory Institutional Quarantine (irrespective of their vaccination status) at a Quarantine Hotel or Centre.

Vaccinated travelers

Travelers who have received two doses of vaccine 14-days before arrival will be considered as fully-vaccinated.

Vaccinated travelers must carry their original certificate and translated copies if its not in English.

“As there are positive cases reported among fully vaccinated persons in Sri Lanka and in other countries, it is important to minimize COVID-19 or its variants entering in to the country. Therefore, fully vaccinated travellers should not relax the preventive measures and should abide by the COVID-19 preventive measures imposed by the Government of Sri Lanka,” Health Ministry said.

On the seventh day after arrival, vaccinated travellers must undergo another PCR test.

However if the PCR tests are negative for non-vaccinated travellers or who have not receive the required doses will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine at the facilities they are staying at.

Travellers who complete two weeks period of  recommended doses of vaccination during their stay at Quarantine can be discharged with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (done

after completing the two weeks from last vaccination date) and NO further quarantine is necessary.

Seafarers or Maritime Security Officers (Sea marshals) via airports

Seafarers or Sea Marshals are not allowed to enter the country via Sri Lanka Tourism. They must obtain approvals from the foreign ministry and are to be quarantined at a separate isolation centre used for seafarers and sea marshals.

Sri Lankan seafarers / sea marshals who intend to board a vessel should be quarantined in an Isolation Centre.

Sri Lankan seafarers / sea marshals who do not intend to board a vessel but intend to enter the community should undergo quarantine in a Quarantine Hotel / Government Quarantine Centre (Colombo/July07/2021)

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Sri Lanka schedules 3-hour power cuts for Aug 20, 21: regulator

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will impose power cuts of up to three hours on Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said.

All areas (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V and W) will have power cuts of 1 hours and 40 minutes between 10.30 am and 06.00 pm and 1 hour 20 minutes from 06.00pm to 10.00 pm.

Click here for a detailed schedule.

The state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said supply interruption time and restoration time will vary within 30 minutes as indicated above.

Sri Lanka’s daily scheduled power cuts that were reduced to one hour in July with power generation from hydro power plants contributing more than 50 percent to the main grid reducing thermal power plant use was extended to three hours last week due to a breakdown at the Norochcholai coal power plant.

According to officials, the breakdown happened in Unit 1 of Norochcholai which will take around two weeks to repair.

The Minister of Power & Energy said Unit 2 is undergoing scheduled maintenance work while Unit 3 will continue to operate. West Coast and other fuel power pPlants will be used to manage the supply, the ministry said. (Colombo/Aug02/2022)

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Sri Lanka guidance peg edges T-bond yield edge down

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions edged down on Friday (19), while yields in Treasury bonds picked up slightly and in T-bill remain unquoted in dull trade, a day after the Central Bank announced the policy rates will remain stable, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 01. 06. 2025 closed at 27.95/28.05 percent on Friday, slightly up from 27.90/28.00 percent on Thursday.

No T-bills were quoted on Friday, dealers said.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s central bank announced a guidance peg for interbank transactions further weakened by three cents to 361.00 rupees against the US dollar on Friday from 360.97 rupees.

Data showed that commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers between 368.00 and 370.00 for small transactions.  (Colombo/ Aug 19/2022)

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Sri Lanka records 10 new COVID-19 deaths in 48 hours as case numbers rise

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lanka recorded 10 COVID-19 deaths in the 48 hours from August 17 to 19 taking the country’s pandemic death toll to 16,640, health ministry data showed.

Sri Lanka is experiencing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases with the relaxation of public health restrictions relating to face masks and public gatherings.

Health authorities said the situation will be monitored constantly and have asked the general public to continue to follow basic hygiene measures in order to control the spread of the virus again in the community.

In August alone 2,924 new cases were recorded in Sri Lanka, with 84 deaths attributed to the disease.

So far in 2022, from January onward, health authorities have identified 81,157 patients to date.

Epidemiology unit data showed that 874 patients are currently receiving treatment, out of which 716 are receiving home based care.

The spread of the virus has increased with the use of public transport rising after an easing of a fuel crisis.

Sri Lanka is also facing difficulties in securing essential medicine supplies for the health sector due to a forex shortage.

Health officials said if the number of COVID-19 patients rise to a level the health sector cannot manage,  with the added issues of fuel and medical shortages, the health system might collapse.

“It is the responsibility of us all. There is no use trying to forcibly control people. We all have the responsibility to reduce or stop the spread of the virus before it gets out of control. We have been living with it for the past two years,” Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr Hemantha Herath said. (Colombo/Aug19/2022)

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