Travel restrictions for those arriving from S. Africa
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
The Health Ministry slapped restrictions on travellers arriving from Southern African countries from midnight yesterday (28).
Travellers arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe “will not be permitted to disembark in Sri Lanka,” Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Asela Gunawardena, issuing travel restrictions for travellers arriving from Southern African countries, following the detection of the new COVID variant ‘nu,’ identified as Omicron by the World Health Organisation (WHO), said.
Dr. Gunawardena also said irrespective of their COVID vaccination status, travellers who are 12 years and above who arrived in Sri Lanka during the past two days (26 and 27 November) had to undergo an on-arrival PCR test. “If the day-one PCR report is negative, they will be subject to mandatory quarantine,” he said.
Sri Lankan dual citizens, valid resident visa holders, will undergo home quarantine until completion of 14 days. Once they arrive at their homes, they should inform the area Medical Officer of Health (MOH).
Foreign national staff, members of diplomatic missions or UN organisations should undergo mandatory quarantine at an area MOH approved residence or institution for 14 days.
All other travellers should undergo quarantine at a safe and secure certified level one hotel for 14 days. On day 14, they will be released from quarantine with a negative COVID test report.
The guidelines are to be revised depending on the COVID situation in the country. Dr. Gunawardena said he as the DGHS, the authority for Sri Lanka under the Quarantine and Prevention of Disease Ordinance No. 03 of 1897, could direct deviations from the guidelines without prior notice considering the situation.