Empty Ukrainian SkyUP Aircraft to the rescue
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
An empty Ukrainian SkyUP Airlines aircraft had arrived yesterday (19) to fly back around 170 Ukrainian tourists who are irritated over the new health guidelines set by Sri Lanka Tourism.
The health guidelines suggest 3 PCR tests in addition to the one they obtain prior to their departure in Ukraine. They claimed it is ‘too much’ for 10 days. As of now there are 1,480 Ukrainians in the country touring around.
Udayanga Weeratunga, who organised many of the tours for Ukrainians from the beginning of January, was seen as a controversial figure, flouting the health and tourism guidelines, but managed to expedite obtaining permission to take them on excursions as in the itinerary given to them.
However, he says the new health guidelines suggest four PCR tests that includes the one the travellers obtain 96 hours before boarding the flight to Sri Lanka from Ukraine.
He said many are opposed to more than two PCRs (for 10 days) as in the itinerary and doing three PCRs in Sri Lanka costs them US$ 40 per test. Weeratunga said for 10 days stay 3 PCR (on the day of arrival, 7 days later and one more after 4 days) if they are touring is illogical and it has angered some of them.
The locals and others who are staying over 14 days could be called for the 4th PCR however, there are not many who are staying over 10 days in Sri Lanka, he added.
Such rules for travellers in a bio-bubble are unnecessary because health safety is highly monitored, he pointed out.