Colombo, March 19 (Daily Mirror) – The Health Ministry, yesterday said returnees who have received both the doses of the ANTICOVID-19 vaccinations will be exempted from quarantine after undergoing a PCR test upon arrival and the results come in negative.
In new guidelines issued by the Director-general of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardena, returnees who arrive two weeks after receiving the second doses will need to produce their vaccination certificate, including an English translation if the certificate is not in English, to the airport medical officer, after which they will be transported by government authorities to a facility or allocated hotel.
The returnees will then have to undergo a PCR test within 24 hours after their arrival from a health ministry approved private or state laboratory and once the results come in negative they can be released from the hotel or centre issuing a discharge document by a quarantine authority mentioning date of PCR sample collection and PCR test result.
Returnees should arrange their own transport method to travel to their homes from the centres or hotels and should practice the recommended COVID-19 preventive measures throughout their travel.
Upon arrival to their homes, the returnees should inform their area Medical Officer of Health by telephone or email and produce the discharge document issued by the quarantine authority. The returnees will then be exempted from quarantine while the MOH officer will then email all details of the returnees to the Ministry of Health.
All returnees must then undergo a further quarantine on the seventh day of their return from an approved private or state laboratory and their results must be informed to the area MOH officer. If in between the returnees develop any respiratory symptoms, they should immediately inform their area MOH officer.
If the second PCR test result is positive, the patient must immediately inform the area MOH officer and then follow the treatment protocol set by the Ministry of Health.
For returnees who have not completed the vaccination dosages, PCR tests should be done on the first day and seventh day and if both tests are negative, they can be released from the hotel after completing day seven.
They should arrange their private transport to go to their homes from quarantine and should practice COVID19 preventive measures throughout their travel. Drivers of the vehicles should wear appropriate personal protective equipment and adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures when transporting travellers.
Upon arrival to their homes, returnees must immediately inform the area MOH officers by telephone or email and produce the discharge document issued by the quarantine authority mentioning the dates of PCR sample.
The balance quarantine period of seven days, out of the 14 days, should be mandatorily home quarantined under the supervision of area MOH officer. If returnees develop any symptoms they should contact the health officers.
For passengers undergoing centrebased quarantine with shared facilities, PCR tests should be done on the first day and tenth day and once results are available and if both tests are negative, they can be released from the quarantine centre after completion of the tenth day. They should arrange for their private transport to travel home. Immediately upon arrival at their home, their area MOH officer must be contacted and informed.
The balance four days, out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine, should be done at home under the supervision of the area MOH officer.
For tourists who are arriving from overseas to Sri Lanka, they should obtain from Sri Lanka Tourism and need to abide by the guidelines imposed for tourists by the government.
Tourists who have completed the ANTI-COVID-19 vaccination doses two weeks prior to arrival should produce their vaccination cards, including an english translation if it is in a foreign language, to the airport medical officer and should be quarantined in a certified hotel for tourists.they are required to undergo a PCR test within 24 hours of their arrival from an approved private or state laboratory, who has to collect the sample from their hotel while the hotel management will have to inform the area MOH officer of the details of the tourists.
The hotel management should keep a photocopy of their vaccination cards and ensure that only such vaccinated tourists are permitted to avail the provisions under this category. If day one PCR test result is negative, tourists should stay in the same hotel until completion of day seven and can visit approved important sites in a biosecurity bubble from the date where day one PCR report is available and up to seven days of arrival.
After the completion of seven days, they should undergo a repeat PCR test on day seven, and if the test result is negative, they can leave the hotel and are free to make their own travel arrangements with the travel agent after getting the clearance from the area MOH officer.
For tourists who have taken only the first dosage of vaccination, they are recommended to produce their vaccination card at the airport and undergo a PCR test within 24 hours of their arrival.they should also quarantine in an approved hotel. If the tourist departs from Sri Lanka within less than 14 days, the second PCR test should be done depending on the date of departure and should have a negative test report before departure, for eg. if the tourist departs on day 8, a second PCR test should be done on day 6 to 7.
If the tourist stays for less than 96 hours in Sri Lanka, there is no need to conduct the exit PCR, and it is needed only if there is a requirement of the airline or country of destination. If the tourist stays up to 14 days or more, the second PCR test should be conducted on day 11 to 14.
Once the day one results are available and negative, tourists can visit the approved important sites in a biosecurity bubble. They should not change the hotels until 14 days are completed and if staying for more than 14 days, they can be released on day 14 with negative PCR reports.
The Health Ministry said this guideline will be reviewed depending on the COVID-19 status in the country and global situation. (Jamila Husain)