200125 coronavirus sri lanka
Passengers have their temperature scanned at Bandaranaike international airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: Less than 48 hours after its release, Sri Lanka reversed its decision to ban airline passengers with recent travel history to six Gulf countries for two weeks. The country's Civil Aviation Authority said the ban on air travel from Gulf countries from July 1 to July 13, announced on June 28, has been lifted provided a number of conditions are met.

In a statement carried by the Colombo Page website, Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Thimiya Abiwikarama, said that in accordance with the instructions received from the Ministry of Health and the National Operations Centre to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19, passenger restrictions have been canceled for Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with immediate effect. But these conditions need to be me:

* All arriving passengers must have a negative PCR test obtained within 96 hours prior to departure, and an airline must confirm this before passengers board.

* Antigen tests - the rapid test - cannot be accepted as a pre-departure test for boarding.The antigen test must be submitted from a government approved hospital/lab in the respective country along with the QR code/bar code.

* Airlines must verify the validity of test reports submitted by passengers.

* Passengers are only allowed access for hotel quarantine or via Sri Lanka Vital Tourism Route.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka said that the above-mentioned conditions will apply until further notice.