The Sri Lankan government has made changes to the domestic coronavirus rules. Since the beginning of 2021, travellers with a visa are allowed to travel to Sri Lanka
Relaxion of rules and new restrictions
The Sri Lankan government has introduced both a relaxation of the COVID-19 rules as well as further restrictions. Recently, more people have been allowed at events such as weddings, and restaurants are also allowed to serve more customers. The relaxation comes at a surprising time. Although the number of infections and deaths in Sri Lanka has been on the decline for months, the figures have recently risen again. The number of new infections per day was 500 in October, but since the end of November Sri Lanka has been reporting almost 800 new infections daily. However, these figures do not give the full picture because not enough tests are being carried out.
At the same time, the authorities have extended the ban on public gatherings. A special permit is now required by the government. Critics say this ban is intended to prevent protests against the administrationʼs policies. In Sri Lanka, farmers are staging large-scale protests because of government policy on fertilizers.
Travel ban 6 for African countries
Sri Lanka has also imposed a travel ban on travellers from 6 African countries due to the omicron variant. These countries are South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Namibia and Lesotho. Since November 28, travellers from these countries are no longer allowed to enter Sri Lanka. This also applies to fully vaccinated travellers and travellers with a valid visa. The government has not yet indicated when passengers from these countries will be welcome again in Sri Lanka.
On December 3, Sri Lanka reported the first official case of the COVID-19 omicron variant. It involved a traveller returning from Nigeria.
Sri Lanka will not be in lockdown for Christmas
A Sri Lankan government spokesperson said that there are no plans for another lockdown due to the omicron variant, and that the countryʼs residents will have a Christmas without lockdown. According to the government, this will be possible because of the high vaccination rate in the country. 85 per cent of the eligible population has been vaccinated. Sri Lanka is now also administering booster shots to residents aged 60 and above, as well as to healthcare workers.
Rules for travellers to Sri Lanka
Apart from the travel ban on the 6 African countries mentioned above, the Sri Lankan government has not announced any further restrictions on tourists travelling to Sri Lanka with a visa. Currently, both fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated individuals can travel to Sri Lanka. Fully vaccinated travellers must undergo a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure. On arrival in Sri Lanka, they do not need to undergo a PCR test nor go through a quarantine. They do need to have an official vaccination certificate and fill in a Health Declaration.
Travellers who have not been fully vaccinated must undergo a mandatory quarantine on arrival. This quarantine lasts 7 days.
A visa is also mandatory
A valid tourist visa remains compulsory to travel to Sri Lanka. To apply for the visa you must have already booked a hotel that has been certified by the Sri Lankan government as a Safe and Secure hotel level 1. It is also mandatory to pay a Covid-19 insurance fee of 12 US dollars per month during your stay in Sri Lanka.
You can apply for your Sri Lankan visa online via the online application form. The visa is valid for a stay of 30 days and can be extended once for a stay of 90 days.