Focus on bringing back all expat Sri Lankans
The opening of the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for tourists could be delayed till August end, Industrial Exports, Investment Promotion, Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.
“Our aim was to allow tourists to visit by August 1 and open the Airport fully.
But in this scenario, we will have to open the airport completely after August 15 or by the end of August. But the attempt to open the airport on August 1 has not been completely abandoned. But it may be a little late in the present situation,” the Minister said.
The Minister said the reason for delay in opening the BIA was due to the large number of expatriate workers who have applied to come back to Sri Lanka and it is due to take more time to bring them all. The minister made this statement responding to a question raised by journalists after attending a meeting of the Wattala Electorate at the Sun Castle Hall in Wattala last Saturday.
Speaking further, the Minister said that, “Nearly 50,000 migrant workers have requested to come to Sri Lanka. They are registered at embassies. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is eager that all of them should be brought to Sri Lanka. The President said that the people in the country should be protected even if expatriate workers were brought.
Therefore we are doing this very carefully. We will continue to bring them all in the future. It is compulsory for all those who arrive to face a PCR test. After the PCR test, the results will take several hours. So this task will take longer than we thought,”he said.