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Sri Lanka may waive off visa fee for 48 countries indefinitely

Sri Lanka implemented this policy from August 1 and it will last for six months.

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Colombo, Aug 16 (IANS) Due to an increase in the number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka with arrivals expected to hit the 3-million mark by the end of the year, the government announced on Friday that might waive off the entry visa fee 48 countries, including India, indefinitely.

Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said that last year Sri Lanka attracted over 2.3 million tourists and had set a target of over 3 million tourists this year, but arrivals had declined since the Easter Sunday suicide attacks on April 21, Xinhua news agency reported.

“But now, tourist arrivals have picked up again after the attacks, and we may see arrivals hit the 3 million mark this year,” the Minister said.

Amaratunga added that the sudden surge in tourist arrivals was partly due to waiving off the entry visa fee for the 48 countries.

Sri Lanka implemented this policy from August 1 and it will last for six months.

However Amaratunga said if more tourists arrive in the country, the government might waive off the entry visa fee for these 48 countries indefinitely.

Through the free of charge entry visa policy, travellers from the listed countries will be issued a free 30-day visa and if anyone needs an extension, they will be required to make a payment.

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Cities

Lockdown 5.0: Delhi Metro to remain shut till further order

Even during lockdown 4.0 between May 18 and May 31, the Delhi government had demanded from the Centre to allow Metro services in the city.

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delhi metro for ladies free

New Delhi, May 30 : As the Centre on Saturday adopted an exit step towards the nationwide lockdown, the Delhi Metro will remain suspended till further orders, the DMRC said.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said: “In light of the guidelines issued by the government, Metro services will remain closed for commuters until further notice. Our helpline services 155370 shall also not be available. You may reach us at [email protected]

The Centre announced on Saturday that the restrictions will be limited only to the containment zones up to June 30.

Even during lockdown 4.0 between May 18 and May 31, the Delhi government had demanded from the Centre to allow Metro services in the city.

However, the demand was rejected, while other public transport services started in the city from May 19.

The Metro in Delhi has been closed since March 22.

According to official data, there are 264 Metro stations, 2,200 coaches and over 1,100 escalators and 1,000 lifts for common use. With a network of 389-km across the National Capital Region, the Metro was ferrying about 60 lakh people per day in February.

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Travel

International flights not to operate till June-end, decision in July

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19.

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Air India Flight

New Delhi, May 30 : The Centre on Saturday decided not open up international air travel till June-end, while the decision to restart services will be taken only in July, depending upon the prevailing circumstances at that time.

The development came as the fifth phase of the national lockdown was announced on Saturday which will last in the containment zones from till June 30.

The guidelines said that only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country, including international air travel of passengers till June-end.

The Centre had allowed limited domestic passenger flights — about one-third of the summer schedule — to operate between metros and other destinations from May 25.

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19.

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India

Delhi-Moscow AI flight returns after pilot found Covid positive

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Air India Flight

New Delhi, May 30 : A special ferry flight of national carrier Air India which took-off from Delhi for Moscow on Saturday returned back after a crew member was found Covid-19 positive.

The flight being operated under the Vande Bharat mission was half way over Central Asia, when it was called back.

According to sources, the airline’s medical staff which is overseeing the massive testing campaign of its crew, mistook the pilot’s test report as ‘Negative’ while he had tested ‘Positive’ for Covid-19.

Subsequently, the aircraft was informed and the SoPs meant for such situations were immediately implemented.

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