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Sunday June 20th, 2021
Health

Several countries slap travel bans on Sri Lanka as COVID-19 cases continue to spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan travelers including transit passengers are not permitted to fly to Singapore, Kuwait, Italy, Dubai and the Maldives until May 31, 2021, a top official at Airport and Aviation Services said.

The ban came into effect yesterday as a result of rising COVID-19 cases in the island.

Meanwhile, Kuwait, Dubai and the Maldives imposed travel bans on Sri Lanka this week.

The United Arab Emirates announced on May 10 that it has suspended entry for travelers from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh starting 23.59pm, May 12, with the exception of transit flights bound to these countries.

According to the privately owned NewsFirst network, Sri Lanka has suspended flights to the UAE since Wednesday (12) based on a decision reached by UAE authorities and Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Quoting CAA Chairman Upul Dharmadasa, NewsFirst reported this will not affect the operation of inbound flights from the UAE to Sri Lanka.

However, the suspension will affect transit flights through the UAE and passengers travelling from Sri Lanka are NOT permitted to transit at the UAE, he said.

Kuwait too imposed travel restrictions starting May 12.

Reuters reported that Kuwait has suspended flights and is to bar entry to passengers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka until further notice.

In order to enter Kuwait, passengers from the four countries must have been in another country over a period of 14 days prior to arrival.

The Maldives’ travel restriction will be effective from May 13, 23.59pm.

“Italy and Singapore had already imposed a travel ban for Sri Lankan travelers but the new countries to restrict travelers from Sri Lanka are the Maldives, Kuwait and Dubai,” Shehan Sumanasekara, Operations Director (all airports), Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) told EconomyNext.

The Philippines and Malaysia last week announced that they were banning travelers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal as India grapples with COVID-19 third wave.

However, the two countries have yet to announce a date or time when the ban will come into effect. (Colombo/May12/2021)

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