President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (22) decided to suspend arrival of passengers from the United Kingdom with effect from today due to a new strain of COVID – 19 currently spreading across UK.
The decision was taken at the daily meeting of COVID – 19 Prevention Committee held at the Presidential Secretariat today (22) following a review of the new strain of the virus and its spread.
Passengers arriving in the island from the UK today will be accommodated at hotels after conducting PCR tests and will be quarantined for 14 days under the supervision of the health officials. They will be further subjected to 14 more days of home quarantine.
The crew members of cargo flights inbound from London are also subjected to quarantine.
President drew the attention of the COVID Committee to the need to expedite introduction of the COVID vaccine to Sri Lanka.
COVID vaccines have been developed by a number of countries led by US, UK and China. The Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga was authorized to coordinate necessary action in consultation with the relevant countries and local health authorities after an in-depth study of the vaccine.
The groups to be vaccinated will be determined based on the need and priority. It was also decided to collect data on high risk areas including estates, flats and hostels and groups.
Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Member of
Parliament Madura Vithana, Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, officials of the airport and aviation and members of the COVID Prevention Committee were also present.