Sri Lanka to reopen Bandaranaike airport from August 1

sri lanka

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) will be reopened from August 1, with adequate safeguards.

He said issues facing the tourism industry as well as measures necessary for a quick revival came up for discussion when the Task Force Committee entrusted with COVID-19 control met under the patronage of the President.

It was the Task Force that recommended re-opening of the airports for foreign tourists, as the country gradually returns to normalcy.

President Rajapaksa highlighted the necessity of following health guidelines issued by international and local health experts in the event of opening the country for tourists.

Future steps should be taken under the guidance of tourism and health professionals on a priority basis, he said.

Under the first phase, it was decided to open hotels and restaurants registered under the Tourism Development Authority for in-house dining.

Based on its progress steps will be taken to gradually open unregistered eateries under the assistance and supervision of the army and public health officers.

President advised relevant officials to set up tourist police units comprising those who are fluent in foreign languages, giving priority to popular tourist destinations.

“In order to attract tourists, it is necessary to have a proper understanding of their preferences. Some prefer the beach while some enjoy seeing archaeological sites and wildlife. Some tourists are interested in scenic beauty. Tourist promotion activities should be planned accordingly,” President Rajapaksa added.