Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

On-arrival PCR testing for tourists back at hotels

■ „Operations at newly opened PCR testing facility at BIA come to abrupt halt


Sri Lanka will return to its previous system of carrying out the on-arrival PCR test at level –1 hotels, as the attempt to test tourists for COVID-19 at the airport premises itself failed to bring out the expected outcome.

Tourism industry stakeholde­rs told Mirror Business yesterday that they have got back to carrying out on-arrival PCR test at Level-1 hotels via an accredited laboratory since the newly opened PCR testing facility at the Bandaranai­ke Internatio­nal Airport (BIA) could not cope with the flow of arrivals into the country.

The facility was officially inaugurate­d on Saturday

( September 25) under the banner ‘Hospinorm Laboratory Lounge’ with a cost US$ 5 million. But its operations came to an abrupt halt just after a day on Monday (September 27).

Industry sources shared that poor coordinati­on and communicat­ion efforts between BIA staff and laboratory staff led to delays in the system that was establishe­d to ensure faster release of PCR test result.

The aim of the facility was to carry out PCR tests and release test results within three hours.

Industry stakeholde­rs pointed out that the airport laboratory was not equipped to the levels required, which led to its operations to collapse within hours of its unveiling.

It is learned that plans are afoot to uplift the services and operations of the facility, making it more efficient and customer-friendly, and re-launch at the earliest, most likely within the week.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Developmen­t Authority (SLTDA) is yet to make a statement in this regard.

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