In order to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the government of Sri Lanka has taken far-reaching measures. These have serious consequences for tourists and business travellers that want to visit Sri Lanka. In this article (updated on 08-07-2021), you can read the current state of affairs and advice regarding your travel plans.
How serious is the coronavirus problem in Sri Lanka?
TSince April 2021, the number of infections in the country has been rising rapidly. For this reason, the Sri Lankan government introduced travel restrictions on 12 May, including a ban on travel between provinces that will last until at least 19 July. Hotels, restaurants, shops and supermarkets are open with restrictions, bars and cafes are closed. Meetings are allowed with a maximum of 10 people.
In addition, since 5 June, international airlines have been allowed to carry up to 75 passengers per flight to Sri Lanka. There is no limit on the number of passengers travelling as tourists through the Bio Bubble programme. By 8 July, 268,676 infections had been reported and 3,351 deaths recorded. Up to 8 July, 4,528,948 coronavaccines have been administered in Sri Lanka.
After a brief closure of the borders, tourists have been allowed in again since 1 June 2021. There is a ban on entry for travellers who have been to India or various countries in South America, southern Africa or the Middle East in the 14 days before their arrival.
Sri Lanka has taken resolute measures to stop further spread of the coronavirus
Can I currently apply for a Sri Lanka visa?
Since 21 January 2021, applications for the tourist visa for Sri Lanka are being approved again. The visa has to be applied for before departure; it cannot be applied for on arrival in Sri Lanka. Currently, due to a technical problem, it is not possible to apply for a visa on e-Visa.ie. You can, however, already apply for the visa on the website of the Sri Lankan immigration service.
Strict rules apply for acquiring a visa. Travellers must have already booked a hotel certified as a Safe and Secure hotel level 1 by the Sri Lankan authorities. Additionally, an amount equal to 12 American dollars has to be paid each month you stay in Sri Lanka for a COVID-19 insurance, which covers an amount of at least 50,000 American dollars. Travellers must fill in a health form (Health Declaration Form) before departure.
In addition, one must have a negative test result (in English) of a PCR test carried out no more than 96 hours before departure, or an English certificate showing that the traveller has been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks. In addition, one has to pay before departure for the PCR tests, which will be administered in Sri Lanka. The cost per test is 40 US dollars
What rules apply during the stay in Sri Lanka?
Rules for travellers who have not been fully vaccinated
Travellers who have not been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks will be tested for corona on arrival and on day 14 of their stay. Children under 2 are not tested, children under 12 are only tested on day 14 of their stay. All foreign travellers who have not been fully vaccinated must spend 14 days in quarantine after arrival. This can be either in a quarantine centre or in a Safe and Secure Level 1 hotel. Tourists are allowed to move between hotels with the Safe and Secure Level 1 certificate during the quarantine period and may visit some approved sites in the country in a travel bubble.
After 14 days, you may come into contact with the local community, but even then it is recommended not to shake hands, not to hug others, to use public transport as little as possible, to pay contactless as much as possible and to wash your hands regularly.
Travellers who have received the recommended dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to arrival will be tested for corona on arrival in Sri Lanka. If the result of this PCR test is negative, the traveller does not have to go into quarantine. However, on day 7 of the stay, a PCR test must be done again. Children between 2 and 8 years old are also tested on arrival. They may travel with their vaccinated parents and do not have to go into quarantine if they test negative on day 1.
The validity of visas of travellers already in Sri Lanka can be extended by 60 days until 9 July 2021 on the website of the immigration department.
What rules apply for returning to the United Kingdom?
Reizigers ouder dan 12 jaar die vanuit Sri Lanka naar Nederland terugkeren hebben één van de volgende documenten nodig:
- A negative result of a NAAT test (PCR, RT PCR, LAMP, TMA or mPOCT), which is maximum 72 hours old.
- A negative result of an antigen test, not more than 48 hours old.
- A recovery certificate issued by a European Member State, proving that the traveller has recovered from COVID-19.
- A vaccination certificate, proving that the traveller has been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the EMA or WHO.
You do not have to go into quarantine when you return to the United Kingdom.
When is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka again?
Sri Lanka has been admitting tourists again since 1 June under strict requirements. For the time being, business travellers can only travel to Sri Lanka with an exception permit.
Consult this page about the coronavirus in Sri Lanka to stay informed on developments. Would you like to be notified once you can safely travel to Sri Lanka again?
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Disclaimer: this article has been put together with great care and is regularly updated. Nevertheless, no rights can be derived from the information on this page. The situation regarding the coronavirus changes rapidly, and information from various government sources are not always aligned. Before going on your trip, check with your airline about the current state of affairs regarding travelling to Sri Lanka on an ETA or different visa type.