Sri Lanka will close its borders for all passengers arrivals for ten days beginning tomorrow, said the Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday after officials reported a record single-day high of 3,051 COVID 19 cases.
Home to about 21 million people, Sri Lanka is witnessing a spiking third wave of the pandemic, with health authorities reporting over 2,000 cases a day over the last week, prompting the government to impose travel restrictions, including lockdowns.
The country’s death toll which was among the lowest in the region during the first wave – has rapidly risen in the last few weeks, reaching 1,015 on Tuesday.
More than 1,50,000 cases have been reported since the pandemic struck last year, of which nearly 30,000 are currently active, according to data published by the Health Promotion Bureau.
The decision to bar entry to international travellers comes as a blow to the government’s efforts to revive the tourism industry from January this year.
The Russian Sputnik vaccine as well as China’s Sinopharm vaccines are currently being administered in the country.