ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka nationals and dual citizens abroad who can afford paid quarantine are allowed to use commercial flights to return to the island, without waiting in a Foreign Ministry list for free quarantine.
From December 26, the Foreign Ministry will continue to arrange repatriation flights for migrant workers, students, patients, short term visa holders, government and military officers.
However Sri Lanka nationals and dual citizens who can pay for quarantine could come on a commercial flight, if they can arrange paid quarantine at a designated hotel.
The limit allowed per flight will be determined by the Civil Aviation Authority after consulting with Sri Lanka’s anti-Covid-19 task force, the Foreign Ministry said.
Sri Lanka earlier also allowed paid quarantine where only some travel agents were allowed to bring in passengers leading to questions over high prices.
Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority said passenger flights will be relaxed from December 26.
The full statement is reproduced below
Notice on Revision of Procedure for Inbound Travellers to Sri Lanka
The procedure for inbound travellers to Sri Lanka, introduced since March 2020 is hereby revised as follows, based on the joint decision made by the Foreign Ministry, the Department of Immigration and the Civil Aviation Authority and as agreed by the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation.
The following procedure will take effect from 26 December 2020.
1. The Government of Sri Lanka (Foreign Ministry and National Operation Center for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) will arrange special repatriation flights for the Government quarantine facilities in coordination with Sri Lanka Missions abroad for migrant workers, students, patients, short term visa holders, government and military officials,
2. i. However, Sri Lankans or Foreigners of Sri Lankan origin (Holders of Dual Citizenship) will be allowed to travel on any commercial/non-repatriation flights to Sri Lanka without the approval of the Foreign Secretary (or) Civil Aviation Authority subject to the limit of passengers per flight determined by the Civil Aviation Authority, based on concurrence/consultation of NOCPCO subject to compliance with paid quarantining at a designated hotel.
ii. It is the sole responsibility of the Airline concerned to ensure that the passengers allowed on board under the above arrangement will strictly adhere to the paid quarantine.
The revision of procedure for inbound travellers will be subject to review based on further assessments made on new guidelines.
21 December 2020