- Steps have been taken to increase the number of flights to bring down expatriates from next week
- 45,000 expatriates quarantined free of charge so far
By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera
While refuting reports that Sri Lankan expatriate workers have to undergo compulsory paid quarantine in hotels, Minister Namal Rajapaksa said yesterday all the Sri Lankan expatriate workers would be provided with free quarantine facilities at the government quarantine centres hereafter.
He told Parliament that the Health Ministry, Foreign Ministry and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 were making arrangements in this regard on the advice of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
“It is only a rumour that Sri Lankan expatriate workers have to undergo compulsory paid quarantine in hotels. Paid quarantine is optional. We have quarantined more than 45,000 expatriates free of charge so far. We will provide free quarantine at government operated quarantine centres with all the expatriate workers specially those arriving from the Middle East hereafter,” he said.
The Minister said steps have been taken to increase the number of flights to bring down expatriates from next week, following a discussion with the President.
He admitted the fact that there was an issue in providing free quarantine facilities at hotels and said it was the responsibility of relevant institutions to reveal to the people whether free quarantine facilities had been granted by the hotels.
“We also had an issue. It was reported that free quarantine facilities will be provided in some hotels. We have asked in our group meeting about the hotels and number of people who had been provided free quarantine. It is the responsibility of the relevant institutions to inform people if free quarantine had not been provided,” he said. The Minister said the Government had organised special repatriation flights from January 11 and added that the process will be monitored by the Government itself.
“If there is a mafia behind the expatriation process, we will not hesitate to stand against it,” he said.
- If there is a mafia behind the expatriation process, we will not hesitate to stand against it