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Sri Lanka tightens visas for tourists from China

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has halted automatic issue of electronic travel authorization for tourists from China and will give approvals based on the city they are coming from, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said

“The Immigration Controller has stopped issuing visas automatically,” she told reporters. “We will now check the area they are applying from.”

China has been apprised of the change is procedure, she said.

China has also urged citizens to postpone travel abroad.

This was “to protect the health and safety of Chinese and foreign people,” the National Immigration Administration said.

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Sri Lanka get tourists from China and there are also resident Chinese workers with work permits who can arrive without pre-approval she said.

An estimated 6,000 tourists are present in the country at any given time.

However they will have to sign a declaration form giving their itinerary and resident and public health workers will visit them periodically to check their condition.

Sri Lanka is following international protocols in handling disease outbreaks and there were no plans to quarantine people unless they are from the virus epicenter in Wuhan, Director General of Health Anil Jasinghe said.

Sri Lanka said a Chinese tourist from Hubei province tested positive for the novel coronavirus (nCov2019).

Her condition was stable at the moment, Jasinghe said. (Colombo/Jan28/2020)

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