Jan 17, 2021

Ukraine protests its tourists are blocked in hotels Featured

The Ukraine Embassy has expressed concern to the Sri Lankan Government that many Ukrainian tourists are blocked in different hotels in Sri Lanka on the 14-day COVID-19 quarantine and are not allowed to leave their hotels even after this period despite repeated negative PCR tests.

The New Delhi-based Ukrainian mission wrote to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, requesting assistance to resolve the problems of Ukrainian tourists who arrived in Sri Lanka on vacation in recent weeks.

The tourists continue to arrive in the country and will do so till late January. There is now little information released to the media from tourism or other authorities regarding their movements and other protocols.

It was against this backdrop that the diplomatic note arrived from the Ukraine Embassy. It said five tourists were now “stranded” at Cinnamon Bey in Beruwala “without any explanations on their prohibited exit from the hotel after 14-days quarantine with two negative PCR tests”. Copies of their passports, visas, PCR tests and tickets were enclosed.

Despite the request for assistance, these tourists are still inside, the Sunday Times learns. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has introduced strict procedures and protocols to guide the reopening of the country to a large number of visitors later this month.

Those who wish to come must have a confirmed booking in a hotel classified as “Safe and Secure Level 1”. When making a hotel booking, US$ 40 per test per person, depending on the number of days of stay, and COVID-19 insurance of US$ 12 per month must be paid.

Once these conditions are fulfilled, the traveller will be issued with a reference number by the hotel. This is mandatory for visa processing. The visa application is online. Dual citizens, spouses of foreign nations and paid commercial passengers with foreign passports will also be allowed under the tourism route with no quarantine if they adhere to guidelines and protocols.

During the initial 14 days of their stay, they are not permitted to mix with local communities. But a bio-bubble will be created to visit multiple sites.

(sundaytimes.lk)

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