Fourteen hotels to accommodate 30,000 repatriated migrant workers | Daily News

Fourteen hotels to accommodate 30,000 repatriated migrant workers

Hotel stay free of charge:
Pre-registration with SLBFE a must:

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has handpicked 14 hotels throughout the island to accommodate 30,000 migrant workers who will be repatriated under a new scheme, a senior official from the Bureau told the Daily News yesterday.

Last week under a revised quarantine regulations programme, the Government reduced its compulsory quarantine period for migrant workers from 14 days to seven days.

SLBFE Media Spokesman Mangala Randeniya told the Daily News that his Bureau is currently drawing up a plan to bring these workers within three months and to waive their hotel charges during their mandatory quarantine stay.

Hitherto, the returning migrant workers had to pay for their respective airfares and the hotel charges for the quarantine period. Each passenger had to pay Rs. 400,000 each for their passage as well as for quarantine accommodation.

“Now, they have to pay for their airfare only and the Government will look after their hotel expenses,” Randeniya said.

Randeniya further said the SLBFE has identified 14 three-star hotels to accommodate these returnees who would be coming in batches of 800 passengers. “We may accommodate them at Army camps also when the designated hotels are full.”

Stranded workers are found mostly in Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

“This is being done due to the intervention of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who had received several complaints from migrant workers who could not pay for the seven day mandatory quarantine period,” Randeniya said.

State Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Market Diversification Piyankara Jayaratne also took a keen interest in making this project a reality.

Spelling out the requirements for availing of these new services, Randeniya said primarily, the beneficiaries should have been registered with the SLBFE before their departure to their overseas workplaces.” They will also be required to sign a declaration at the Lankan missions in the respective countries that they cannot afford to pay for the hotel charges during the seven-day quarantine period in Sri Lanka.”

So far during the pandemic, around 110,000 migrant workers have been repatriated home from all parts of the world, which included around 70,000 from the Middle East.