A joint committee of tourism and health authorities will be appointed to open the airport in accordance with the health guidelines and expedite the resumption of the tourism industry. The Health and Tourism Authority today (03) decided to take further steps as soon as the committee’s recommendations are received.
The discussion was held at the Ministry of Health under the patronage of Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Minister of Primary Health Epidemiology and COVID Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle. Airport and Aviation Tourism Development Authority Hotel industry veterans representing the Ministry of Tourism and a team including the Director General of Health and heads of the Epidemiology Division represented the health sector.
Initiating the discussion Minister Prasanna Ranatunga stressed that the airport is expected to be opened to tourists soon. He also said that the assistance of the health sector is needed for that. The Minister said that a guideline has already been prepared for this purpose and requested that recommendations be made to update and implement it in the light of the current situation.
The Minister of Health said that preventing the spread of COVID 19 is a priority of the government. Therefore, she pointed out that this should be done very carefully. There was a lengthy exchange of views on the opening of the Katunayake and Mattala airports and the methodology for attracting tourists to Sri Lanka. It was decided to appoint a joint high level committee of both parties and take immediate action.
It was decided at this meeting that the Joint Committee will meet next week to make final recommendations in this regard to the Ministers of Tourism and Health and to take necessary steps to open the country to tourists accordingly.