Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga said that Sri Lanka will become the safest country in the world with no Covid- 19 risk for tourists by May, as the government has decided to end Covid-19 vaccination process for all Sri Lankans by May. He emphasized that the tourism industry is gradually recovering now after the country was opened for tourists on January 21.

Hon.Minister pointed out that all necessary steps have been taken to prevent the spread of Covid -19 from tourists to the society and from the society to the tourists vice versa and that the health authorities as well as the officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority are closely monitoring whether the tourists who have visited the country so far are following the health guidelines properly.

He was speaking at a special discussion held at the Ministry of Tourism yesterday (08) with regard to the current situation and future plans after the country was opened for tourists.

Speaking further, Hon. Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga said, “We are now distributing the Covid -19 vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and donated by India, to the Tri Forces and frontline health workers. The government hopes to give this vaccine to other people in the country as well and hopes to complete the vaccination campaign by May. This is a very good situation especially for the tourism industry. If the Covid vaccine is given to all in the country by May, our country will become one of the safest countries in the world for tourists.

At present, arrangements are being made to attract tourists from countries such as India, Germany and Italy. Tour Operators are working in that regard. We have taken all necessary steps to prevent the spread of Covid -19 from the tourists to the society vice versa.

The health authorities as well as the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority monitor whether all tourists visiting the country follow the health guidelines at the tourist hotels where the tourists stay and at the places that they visit. We have established a 24 hour operational monitoring unit at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. You may contact us on 1912.

The resurgence of the tourism industry which was completely collapsed due to Covid -19 will be of great help to the country's economy. Our goal is to take the tourism industry to the next level. Developing the tourism industry is one of the solutions to the severe economic crisis facing the country at present due to Covid – 19 pandemic. But we are not ready to endanger the people of this country. That is why we are very vigilant in this program. ”

Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Mr.S. Hettiarachchi, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Mrs. Kimali Fernando, Director General, Mrs. Dhammika Wijesinghe and officials from the Ministry and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority participated in the discussion.

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