May 04, 2021

No new tourist visas to Indians? Featured

Amid the ongoing devastating COVID-19 wave in India, the Sri Lankan High Commission in India has stopped issuing visas to Indian passport holders, reports say.

It is said that the measure has been in effect from April 29.

Meanwhile, 'The Morning' quotes State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and Covid Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle as saying that this decision had been taken by the National Operations Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Task Force.

The newspaper also quotes Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) officials as saying that a considerable number of visas were granted prior to the halting of the process, and that therefore, those visas could still be used to enter the country.

However, discussions are underway to stop even the Indians who had obtained visa before April 29, from entering the country, it adds.

A travel bubble between the countries was announced in mid-April and social media posts by travel agents offering '14-day quarantine packages' have raised much concerns.

In late April, Civil Aviation minister - Prasanna Ranatunga had stated that the travel bubble, which was implemented to promote tourism between the two countries, was not suspended and that only a flight scheduled to Kushinagar on April 26 had been postponed.