TikaWeeks #40/2021: Sri Lanka update

Posted by John on 4th October 2021

Sri Lanka national flag

The good news keeps on getting better! The Sri Lanka Government’s newly-released health protocol for fully vaccinated travellers makes it even easier to visit the country. No on-arrival PCR test or any other test necessary, no quarantine, no restriction on where you stay (except ‘bio-bubble’ hotels), which places you visit or how you get around the island. This now feels more like the pre-pandemic experience of enjoying freely the true wonders of Sri Lanka – its scenery, wildlife, beaches, food, culture, history and, most of all, its ever-smiling people!

Health protocol for fully vaccinated travellers to Sri Lanka (for arrivals from 29 September 2021):

1. Applies to international tourists visiting Sri Lanka under a tourist visa. No prior approval required from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Civil Aviation Authority. There is no minimum duration of stay in Sri Lanka.

Travellers who have completed 14 days after the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccination and arriving with a negative COVID-19 PCR Report done within 72 hours of embarkation will be considered as fully vaccinated travellers. Any vaccination type accepted by the country of origin will be accepted.

This protocol is applicable for travellers not arriving from or no travel history (including transit) to any travel restricted country in the past 14 days.

2. Prior to boarding, travellers are required to:

Access Visit Sri Lanka to pay for the mandatory COVID-19 Local Insurance cover at US$12 for a policy of US$50,000 up to a period of one month (including children below 2 years) and obtain the Tourism Reference Number required to apply for a visa. (If accompanied by unvaccinated children of 12-18 years, pay for an on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test at US$40 per test.) 

Have a valid tourist visa. All visas must be applied for online at Sri Lanka ETA. Ensure you include the Tourism Reference Number when applying for a visa. (On the visa form, under the section ‘Contact Details’ and within ‘Address in Sri Lanka’, visitors are advised to include this reference number as the Department of Immigrations and Emigrations, Sri Lanka will check for this information when granting visa approval for all visitors coming under the tourism route.)

Have a confirmed negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to embarkation. (Children below 2 years are exempted.)

3. At the airport on arrival produce the following:

Negative COVID-19 PCR Report (in English) taken within 72 hours prior to embarkation. (Applicable to all travellers excluding children below 2 years.)

Original vaccination certificate/card (together with a certified copy of an English language translation if the certificate/card is not in English or if relevant data are not indicated in English.) Sri Lanka will only accept the UK’s letter version of proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. They will not accept digital proof. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Completed Health Declaration Form. A separate from should be submitted for each of the accompanying children (if any).

4. On-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests:

No on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers.

Unvaccinated children:

No on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test for unvaccinated children up to 12 years and they will be allowed to travel with their parents.

Unvaccinated children of 12-18 years need to undergo an on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test at a Ministry of Health-approved laboratory at the airport or at any other Ministry of Health-approved laboratory and inform the local area Ministry of Health office of the result. If the Day 1 COVID-19 PCR test is negative, they will be allowed to travel with their parents.

No 2nd COVID-19 PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers.

5. Accommodation and airport transfers.

Fully vaccinated travellers are allowed to make their own arrangements for accommodation, airport transfers and local transportation. However, advised to use ‘Safe and Secure’ certified accommodation and travel agents to ensure their health and safety.

Categories: News, Sri Lanka, Travel tips

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