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Wednesday June 29th, 2022

Sri Lanka restricts inbound passengers from India as COVID-19 cases surge

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will not permit any inbound passengers from India to disembark in the country with immediate effect, an official said, as a devastating second wave of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in that country.

Update: Any passenger who had travelled to India within 14 days prior to arrival in Sri Lanka will also not be permitted to disembark, the official said.

Related: Sri Lanka welcomes 4,100 tourists in April, India leads

As per a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) directive, no inbound passenger from India will be allowed to disembark at either of Sri Lanka’s two international airports, Shehan Sumanasekara, Director Operations (all airports), Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) told EconomyNext.

It is unclear whether the travel ban applies to Indian diplomats and government officials. The one-line CAA directive, it is learnt, only refers to “passengers”.

According to Sumanasekara, the restriction is solely for air passengers.

“Aircraft, cargo and seafarers will keep coming but they will not be allowed to disembark,” he said.

Countries across the world including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a number of European countries as well as neibhouring nations like Nepal and Bangladesh have imposed a travel ban on India.

Unconfirmed reports have alluded to an influx of Indians “escaping” to other countries including Sri Lanka, but there is no influx of Indian inbound passengers to Sri Lanka according to Sumanasekara.

On average they were getting no more than two to five passengers from India per day, he said.

The total daily inbound passenger turnout too is about 100 on average, he added.

However, Sri Lanka was getting a higher number of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) often flying via Canadian, US and UK passports.

India is currently is battling a raging third-wave outbreak reporting almost 400,000 cases and 4,000 deaths yesterday.

Experts say the actual number of infections and deaths could be higher than what is reported.  (Colombo/May06/2021)

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