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Sri Lanka News

COVID-19 insurance cover is compulsory for tourists

A paid COVID-19 insurance cover is compulsory for travelers visiting Sri Lanka under a pilot tourism project expected to begin this week, officials said.

The insurance cover should be purchased through the Tourism App or at the time of booking a hotel or purchasing the flight ticket, health ministry guidelines showed.

According to the guidelines, a PCR test conducted 96 hours before boarding, by an accredited lab identified by Sri Lankan missions would be a prerequisite. Tourists are also required to undergo three PCR tests after arrival within two weeks. The same laboratory must be chosen for all tests.

The guidelines insist that tourists will be allowed to stay at a hotel approved by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

“Group tourism (is) preferred, (with a) minimum of eight people,” it read. “Prior confirmed hotel booking for 14 days of minimum stay in Sri Lanka is mandatory.”

The health ministry declared that “free movement” would not be allowed in the first two weeks and that travelling outside the hotel would also be prohibited for a week. Visits to tourist sites – approved by the health ministry – would only be allowed after a week of quarantine under a controlled environment.

“No interaction with local people/vendors,” the guidelines emphasised. “Itinerary should be shared with the local health authority and the agencies managing the site in advance”, media sources reported.

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