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COVID-19 UPDATE FROM LARGE MINORITY

Update on COVID-19 (Corona Virus) from us here at Large Minority.

Greetings all. Julian here from Large Minority. I’d like to give you an update on what we are doing here at Large Minority in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak. As you may or may not know we are a UK registered company so are legally required to follow UK travel advice and advisories so forgive me for keeping this update with quotes and advice from UK based organisations such as the NHS and FCO. Furthermore, our next big event is the Lanka Challenge in Sri Lanka so I am keeping this update limited to Sri Lankan Travel advice and not our events later in the year. It goes without saying that we will keep you up to date with all advice to all destinations that we hold events in. Things are changing on a daily basis and it’s too early to make any sensible predictions about our events later in the year.

Based on current FCO advice  and the advice for the Sri Lankan authorities (see below) we are continuing with the Lanka Challenge as planned.

Currently (10/3/2020) the Sri Lankan Advice from authorities in Sri Lanka is as follows.

The Situation on the ground in Sri Lanka.

  • Throughout the entire outbreak Sri Lanka has only had 1 confirmed Coronavirus Case.
  • The patient was a Chinese tourist that had been visiting the country.
  • She was quarantined immediately and has since then fully recovered and on the 11th of February, the ministry of Health confirmed that Sri Lanka is Coronavirus Free. She has since then gone back to China.

Countermeasures by the authorities in Sri Lanka

  • All passenger entering the country via Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) are thoroughly screened. 24-hour monitoring is conducted by BIA staff including body temperature screening machines to detect the virus with the assistance of the Health and Indigenous Medicine Services Ministry and Sr Lanka Army medical teams.
  • At present, all passengers arriving in the country are required to make a self-declaration about their health condition.
  • On 4th of February, the government suspended the issuance of visa on arrival to Chinese tourists as a preventive measure to control the spread of the virus in the country. From now on, Chinese nationals have to submit their visa application while in China before arriving in Sri Lanka and after carefully scrutinising the applicant’s province and other information Visa will be granted.
  • Further, from 4th of Feb onwards a prohibition has been put in place for visitors from accompanying passengers inside the Airport until further notice and for passengers arriving from China, a separate exit terminal has been set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
  • On the 2nd of March, the Ministry of Health has announced the disembarkation of Cruise Ship passengers and staff will not be allowed.
  • We have heard that there will be further restrictions on the entry of tourists from zones at risk such as Italy, South Korea and Iran to be put in place, but we are awaiting confirmation.

Actions on the Ground in Sri Lanka

  • We have thoroughly briefed our guides and chauffeurs about the best practices to follow to keep our clients safe.
  • Our guides and chauffeurs have been briefed on the hospitals that are treating Coronavirus patients and conducting checks. They are – NIID/IDH, Teaching Hospital (TH) Ragama, DGH Gampaha, DGH Negombo, National Hospital Kandy, TH Karapitiya, TH Anuradhapura, TH Jaffna, TH Kurunegala, PGH Rathnapura, TH Batticaloa, PGH Badulla.
  • Our transport team is paying extra attention to clean and sanitize our vehicles between tours as well as daily to reduce risks.
  • We are in constant communication with Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism for

Overall at this current moment the risk of infection in Sri Lanka is very low. We wanted to communicate this information to you to reassure you of the procedures in place and the actions we are taking to reassure our guests. Furthermore, we hope this communique will help you reassure anyone about travelling to Sri Lanka.

The current FCO advice to Sri Lanka can be found right here. As you can see, as of today (10/3/2020) there is NO advice to NOT travel to Sri Lanka.

You can also find the current NHS advice of how to help stop the spread of COVID-19 right here.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us directly on info@largeminority.com