Sri Lanka has delayed the reopening of its international airport from August 1, stating that it would have to make arrangements to bring back stranded Sri Lankan workers due to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the coronovirus epidemic.
Sri Lanka closed its international airports in mid-March following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The government was aiming to open its international airports by 1 August as no community broadcast of COVID-19 had been done since late April.
However, retired Major General GA Chandrasiri, Chairman of the Airport Authority, said that the Colombo International Airport would not be reopened on 1 August and would be further delayed.
“The reason for the delay is to make arrangements to bring Sri Lankan migrants back home,” he said.
“We have already descended about 12,000 – another 40,000 have to be brought back,” Mr. Chandrasiri said.
Chandrasiri said, “The priority right now is to enable his return.”
The decision will come as a shock to the island’s tourism authorities as they have been gearing up to welcome tourists into the country since August to boost the tourism sector crippled by the coronovirus epidemic.
The country was reopened for business from mid-May and health officials say there had been no reported epidemic since April 30.
Sri Lanka recorded only 11 deaths in over 2,000 positive cases. There were no deaths since 1 June.
Health officials have placed a PCR test system at Colombo Airport for all returns. On return, they undergo quarantine.
(This story is not edited by NDTV employees and auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)