The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited (AASL) today insisted that it has taken all precautionary measures at local airports in the fight against the coronavirus.
AASL said it actively took every possible measure to facilitate all the precautionary steps under the directives of the health authorities and other regulatory agencies in Sri Lanka.
Further, these measures were implemented with the recommendation of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.
“The leadership, the management of AASL, all staff and other agencies tirelessly work round-the- clock keeping their lives at risk at this critical time to fulfil a national obligation when the COVID-19 virus is threatening the whole world as a pandemic,” AASL said.
According to the instructions received from the Sri Lanka health authorities,
- All travel beginning from Iran, Italy and South Korea to Sri Lanka and any passenger originating from those countries or who had been in any of those countries within the last 14 days banned from 14th March 2020.
- All travel beginning from – France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and Austria to Sri Lanka and any passenger originating from those countries or had been to any of those countries within the last 14 days were banned from 15th of March 2020 2359
- If an airline disembarked any passenger in Sri Lanka between 1100 hrs and 2359 hrs on 15th March 2020 coming from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherland, Sweden, Spain or Switzerland or who had been to any of those countries within the last 14 days, those passengers were sent to quarantine centres.
- Jaffna International Airport (JIA) was closed for international operations with immediate effect from 15th March 2020.
- All travel beginning from the United Kingdom, Belgium and Norway and any passenger coming from those countries or had been to any of those countries within the last 14 days were banned with effect from 2359hrs on 16th of March 2020.
- Steps were taken to quarantine passengers arriving from the United Kingdom, Belgium and Norway with effect from 0000hrs on 16th March 2020 till 2359hrs on 16th March 2020.
- Passengers of Qatari, Canadian or Bahraini nationalities or any passenger having a travel history to those countries within the last 14 days were not permitted to land in Sri Lanka with effect from 17 March 2359hrs.
- All international Airports in Sri Lanka were closed for operation for inward international commercial passenger flights (i.e. arrivals) with effect from 0400hrs on 19 March 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka) until 2359hrs on 25 March 2020.
- Further, this closure of international airports from operation for inward international commercial passenger flights was extended up to 31st of March and has now been extended further up to 7th of April 2020.
AASL also said that on the directives of the President, Sri Lankan pilgrims stranded in India were airlifted to BIA and were immediately sent to undergo the quarantine process.
Accordingly, AASL says the entire process of sending passengers for the quarantine process was implemented methodically with stringent policies adopted with the support of all military forces including the Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka police.
“Therefore, as the airport operator, we emphasize the fact that, we continue to facilitate the entire process of all precautionary measures taken by the Sri Lanka health authorities and other allied agencies at our maximum capacity to fight against the COVID-19 virus,” AASL said.
The AASL requested the general public not to be misled by false allegations shared on social media and also appealed to all media organizations to respect the airport staff who work round-the- clock placing their lives at risk at this critical time when the coronavirus virus is threatening the whole world as a pandemic. (Colombo Gazette)