Airlines permitted to bring additional 75 Sri Lankans in each flight: Army Chief

  • At least 10 flights are arriving in the country daily

By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya   

The number of Sri Lankans permitted to board each flight arriving in the country from overseas has been increased to 75 from 50, allowing at least 250 more Sri Lankans to return to the country daily, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said.

He said that number excluded the number of Sri Lankan expatriates who were being brought down to the country daily by the government by special flights.

He said approximately 500 Sri Lankans had returned to the country from at least 10 flights arriving in Sri Lanka daily in addition to the arrival of the Sri Lankan expatriates.

“The number will go up to 750 by permitting the airlines to increase the number of Sri Lankans aboard a flight,” General Silva said.

“Up to Sunday, each flight arriving in the country was permitted to bring down a maximum of 50 Sri Lankans to the country. At least 10 flights are arriving in the country daily and that 500 Sri Lankans have returned in those flights, in addition to the Sri Lankan expatriates,” he said.

The Commander said that most of the Sri Lankans among the 500 that arrived in the country, wanted to spend their quarantine period at luxury hotels.

“We don’t know who are those arriving in the country until they land at the airport. The airline companies had been permitting to board the Sri Lankans who wanted to stay in hotels. However, few of them had refused to go to hotels after they arrived in the country, despite agreeing to stay in hotels. Similar incident was reported a few days ago in which 34 Sri Lankans who arrived on those flights at the BIA on Sunday refused to go to hotels. Thereafter, we arranged them to be quarantined at Army- managed quarantine centres, “ the Commander said.

General Silva said that everyone should be aware that there were two quarantine procedures in place for Sri Lankans arriving from overseas. “ One is quarantined at hotels and the other is at Government managed quarantine centres. We don’t force anyone to go to hotels. It is their choice,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Commander said more that 70,000 Sri Lankans arriving from overseas had been quarantined as of yesterday. “ Those include Sri Lankans workers overseas and those who arrived for their holiday as well,” he said.

 

  •  Most of the Sri Lankans among the 500 that arrived in the country, wanted to spend their quarantine period at luxury hotels
  • Few of them had refused to go to hotels after they arrived in the country
  • We don’t force anyone to go to hotels. It is their choice

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