Sri Lanka opens for Indian travellers | Daily News

Sri Lanka opens for Indian travellers

Sri Lanka has opened its borders to India after a long-anticipated hiatus. Regular flights will be operated between nine Indian cities and the island nation. Fully vaccinated Indian travellers will be required to produce a negative PCR report issued not before 72 hours of their arrival and undergo an on-arrival PCR test at a certified hotel in Sri Lanka. They will then be allowed to roam across the country freely.

Sri Lankan Airlines will operate four weekly flights to Chennai, three to Mumbai, and one to Bengaluru under its new schedule. It is expected to introduce significant frequency enhancements. Under the new schedules, the airline will be resuming services between Colombo and four Indian cities - Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Trivandrum and Cochin - with one flight a week, whilst Hyderabad and New Delhi will be connected to Colombo with two flights in a week.

Further, the Sri Lankan Airlines' operations out of Chennai and Mumbai will expand up to five times a week whilst its Bengaluru-Colombo services will be enhanced to flights three times a week. Sri Lankan Airlines has also commenced a buy one-get one free campaign to induce travellers to fly to the country.

Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism, stated, “We look forward to welcoming our closest neighbours yet again, so they may experience the variety that Sri Lanka has to offer. Our country’s heritage, culture, wildlife, nature, beaches and more have always proven to be popular among Indian travellers, and they will be able to visit destinations across the country while following the relevant health guidelines.”

Sri Lanka has had a significant vaccination drive in the last few months and has one of the highest vaccination rates in Asia. The current protocol states any vaccination type accepted by the country of origin will also be accepted in Sri Lanka. Children under the age of 18 who have not been inoculated will be able to follow their vaccinated parents on the same itinerary. But they will have to undergo a second test if they complete more than 10 days in Sri Lanka. The full list of guidelines can be accessed on Sri Lanka's official tourism portal.

Kimarli Fernando said, “The relaxed guidelines are extremely clear and we invite all travellers and travel agents to visit the portal to learn more about pre-arrival procedures, insurance and more.” India has historically been one of the top two markets to Sri Lanka due to the proximity, flight connectivity and diversity that the island nation offers. Given the high volume of visitors that other countries saw immediately upon opening, the same intensity of booking is expected of Sri Lanka as well. All additional information regarding the country and relevant tourism sites can be accessed via the Sri Lankan tourism portal. (India Today)

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