Sri Lanka closed its international airports for passenger arrivals for ten days from midnight on May 21 to control the spread of COVID-19 after recording its highest spike of infections.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) in an urgent notice on social media advised that disembarking passengers would not be allowed into Sri Lanka with effect from 2359L (1829Z) on May 2021 until 2359L (1829Z) on May 31, 2021.

During the restricted period the following would be permitted at Colombo Int'l and Hambantota:

  • Passenger aircraft departures originating from both airports;
  • Aircraft emergency diversions;
  • Freighter operations and humanitarian flights;
  • Technical landings;.
  • Inbound ferry flights (without passengers);
  • Passengers transiting for less than 12 hours with a confirmed ticket destined to an onward destination.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, amongst the airlines and international routes most affected by the ban are Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines from Doha Hamad Int'l; Emirates from Dubai Int'l; and Sri Lankan Airlines and Turkish Airlines from Malé. Air India flights from Mumbai Int'l and Delhi Int'l have already been affected by a ban on all flights from India imposed by Sri Lanka earlier this month due to the record rise in COVID-19 cases in the neighbouring country.