ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has banned travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe starting midnight Saturday (27) after the detection of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the region.
“Following the recent concerns raised by the detection of the COVID19 Omicron variant, Sri Lanka has temporarily banned all travellers arriving from 06 African nations where the strain was first detected. I once again urge all citizens to exercise caution (sp),” Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella tweeted Saturday morning.
Following the recent concerns raised by the detection of the #COVID19SL #Omicron variant, #lka has temporarily banned all travellers arriving from 06 African nations where the strain was first detected. I once again urge all citizens to exercise caution, #WearAMask & #StayHome. pic.twitter.com/3yl2PFeTfd
— Keheliya Rambukwella (@Keheliya_R) November 27, 2021
As per Health Ministry guidelines, inbound tourists with a recent travel history or have transited via the six countries within 14 days prior will not be allowed to disembark in Sri Lanka.
The ban will go into effect from 0000hours on November 28.
Sri Lanka’s health authorities on Friday (26) that the country is on alert for the heavily mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, currently spreading in South Africa.
The variant, also termed B.1.1.529 was first detected on November 24 and has since been observed in multiple countries, but is spreading mostly in South African countries, international reports said.