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Sri Lanka asks expatriates to wait until Coronavirus is contained to return

TRAVEL WOES: A general view shows a deserted terminal at Milan-Malpensa airport in Ferno, northwest of Milan, in one of Italy’s quarantine red zones on March 9, 2020

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has asked overseas citizens to wait until Coronavirus is contained in the country to return, the President office said, as the country is under curfew to contain the spread the disease.

“The Government announces that the requests made by Sri Lankan students, businessmen and employees in overseas to return will be considered after containing the disease in the country” the President’s office said in a statement.

“The Government has taken several effective initiatives to prevent the spread of the pathogen,” the President’s office said in a statement.

“In order to stop the virus coming into the country and its spread, the Government had completely banned overseas arrivals.

“Other countries in the world too have taken similar step and suspended traveling within the country as well as foreign tours.

“They also run the risk of contracting the disease by traveling through airports or other places from where they are currently located.

“Therefore, the Additional Secretary to the President on Foreign Relations, Admiral JayanathColombage requests all Sri Lankans who wish to return to stay safely where they are while sharing their information with the Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate General offices in their respective countries.

Countries with strong passports usually do not stop citizens from returning home, political analysts say. Most Middle Eastern nations that have banned foreign arrivals are allowing citizens to return.

Maldives is also sending aircraft to take citizens home.

Most Western nations allow citizens to come back. Britain has asked all citizens to return home.

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Some countries however have made quarantine compulsory for returning citizens.

Vietnam had 28,640 persons in quarantine on March 27, up from 18,820 a day earlier, with thousands of mainly students abroad coming back each day.

This week authorities warned that they may have to halt arrivals for a time as they are running out of quarantine space.

Since countries belong to citizens, immigration law – a concept borrowed from the West – have no powers to deny entry to citizens who turn up at the border.

However India has completely closed the airports for all passenger travel as have some other countries.

Sri Lanka has also technically closed the airport for inbound travel anyone who want to leave the country is allowed to go. (Colombo/Mar27/2020)

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