No decision to relax COVID regulations for tourists – Minister

Udaya Prabath Gammanpila

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila yesterday assured that the Government has not taken any decision to relax any COVID-19 health regulations for tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

The Minister said only the Health Director General had the authority to take any decision with regard to COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and even the Cabinet had no authority to take decisions to relax any guidelines gazetted by him.

He was responding to a question by a journalist regarding the request made by Ukrainians to not conduct PCR tests on tourist children under 12.

Responding to another question on whether the government has a plan to go for another lockdown, Minister Gammanpila said that the country has no economic strength to go for a lockdown.

“Even if we wanted to, we can’t do it. Because we know how many people lost their jobs during the previous lockdown and the country’s economy collapsed. So the challenge we have to face is to somehow manage to live with COVID-19,” the Minister said.

He further added that the Cabinet of Ministers will not intervene in the issue over the cremation of Muslim coronavirus victims and the final decisions regarding this will be taken by Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena.

(Source: Daily News – By Ishara Mudugamuwa)