As the world grapples with newer strains of the novel coronavirus, Sri Lanka has reopened for all foreign tourists after a ten-month pandemic break.
The island's two international airports, accommodating commercial flights, resumed full operations on Thursday.
As part of new rules, tourists must undergo a Covid-19 test a maximum of 72 hours before their flight and seven days after arrival. All visitors must stay in a designated 'travel bubble' across 14 tourism zones. No mixing with the local population allowed.
Tourism is a vital economic sector for Sri Lanka, accounting for about 5% of its GDP and employing 250,000 people directly and up to 3 million indirectly.
Known as the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean', the nation closed to tourists in March due to rising Covid-19 infections.