Sri Lanka has indicated its intention to reopen to tourists from August.

Small groups of visitors will be allowed to enter the country from August 1, and will reportedly be allowed to stay in hotels approved by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority with strict safety measures in place.

Measures include carrying a Covid-19-free certificate issued by their governments or a reputed agency, being tested for the virus on arrival at the airport and tourists must have a return air ticket to gain entry.

Kimali Fernando, chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau told Reuters that reports in the Sunday Times that the country’s tourism sector would re-open in mid-June were false.

He said individual travellers will not be allowed to enter the country, which has recorded 1,782 confirmed cases and 11 deaths as of Thursday June 4.

Sri Lanka’s main tourist season typically begins in around November.