Over 18,000 foreign tourists stranded in Sri Lanka set for departure
March 26, 2020 02:17 pm
Sri Lanka Tourism has made arrangements for the departure of 18,093 foreign tourists who are currently stranded in the country, says the Tourism Development Authority.
A 24-hour helpline – 117 – was introduced by Sri Lanka Tourism, while a hotline (1912) is in operation for foreign tourists who seek assistance.
The Ministry of Foreign Relations previously stated that the safe departure of foreign tourists who are stranded in the country will be done using both regular flight movements operating through Sri Lanka and also charter flights that may be deployed, as the airport remains open for outbound passenger movements.
As an island-wide curfew was imposed since last Friday (20) departing passengers, as well as the vehicle drivers who would be transporting them, are allowed to use the air ticket in lieu of a curfew pass.
As of March 22, Sri Lanka halted all incoming passenger flights taking into consideration the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and as a means to contain the spread of the virus in the country. The government had stated that this decision will not be eased under any circumstance until the current situation returns to normal.
However, the departure flights from Sri Lanka continued to operate as usual.