The Covid Task Force has proposed to the President to reopen the airport from August 01st as the country is now returning to normalcy.
The Task Force members had pointed out that it is a victory that the country has gained that there have been no community cases reported from April 30th until yesterday (26).
The Covid Task Force met with President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa last afternoon (26) to discuss measures that needs to be taken to uplift the tourism industry which suffered a blow due to the Coronavirus.
During the meeting, the President highlighted the importance of complying with the international and local health guidelines in opening up the country for tourism. he said that by planning ahead Sri Lanka could gain an advantage over other countries. Therefore, he said that all future steps should be taken after obtaining the advice of the experts in the tourism and health sectors.
It was decided during this discussion to initially reopen the in house dining of the hotels and restaurants registered under the Tourism Promotion Authority. Based on the progress of the first step, all other hotels and restaurants would be allowed to reopen with the assistance of the military under the supervision of the Public Health Inspectors. The President also instructed the authorities to give preference to opening up the hotels and restaurants in the areas frequented by tourists and gave instructions to establish a tourist police division with those who are proficient in foreign languages.
“In attracting tourists, we must identify their preferences. Some may like to relax by the beaches and others may prefer to visit archaeological sites. Others may prefer the upcountry tea plantations. Therefore, all tourism promotion programmes should be planned accordingly,” President Rajapaksa noted.
Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundara and members of the Covid Task Force participated in this meeting with the President.