The Sri Lankan government on Monday said that it has taken all necessary measures in preventing entry of the newly found Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus as many countries were closing their borders for arrivals.
Namal Rajapaksa, the minister for sports and youth, told legislators in parliament that health guidelines have been tightened at all the airports with the health history of passengers being checked upon arrival.
"We have also introduced a Health App together with the Technology Ministry and the airport to support the airport staff in this process," Rajapaksa said.
Over the weekend, Sri Lanka imposed a temporary ban on travelers from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini until further notice and said visitors who have already arrived should undergo a 14-day quarantine immediately and avoid going outdoors.
Health authorities have urged Sri Lankans not to leave their homes unless necessary and noted that the South Asian country was on alert over the new variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Sri Lanka has made it mandatory to wear face masks and maintain a social distance. Anyone defying the rules will face arrest and a jail term.
Official data show the country has detected 562,520 positive COVID-19 cases since March last year, including 14,305 deaths.