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Sri Lanka COVID-19 Entry Requirements

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The COVID-19 cases seem to keep rising in Sri Lanka and the authorities have enforced strict islandwide restrictions to limit imported cases.

Attention coronavirus covid 19. A robotic research computer doctor holds a test tube with drugs and pills. Black chalkboard with the handwritten words warning of an epidemiological virus threat

Sri Lanka Travel Restrictions COVID-19 2021

  • All travellers arriving in Sri Lanka should mandatorily carry a negative COVID-19 test report in the English language.

For Sri Lankan citizens: the test needs to be either a PCR test done within 96 hours prior to embarkation or a Rapid Antigen Test done within 48 hours prior to embarkation.

Foreign passport holders and Dual citizens: should carry a negative report of a PCR test done within 96 hours before embarkation.  Airlines may request a negative PCR test result done within 72 hours prior to embarkation.

  • Travellers who have received the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine should carry the original vaccination certificate/card (together with a certified copy of English language translation if the certificate/card is not in English or if relevant data are not indicated in English in a non – English certificate/card) or verifiable evidence of vaccination.
  • Each traveller should submit a completed Health Declaration Form to the staff of the Airport Health Office at the health counters of arriving airport. Separate forms should be submitted for each of the accompanying children if any.
  • Travellers who have completed the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccination and departs from abroad after two weeks of completion of vaccination should produce the vaccination certificate/ card to Airport Health Officer at the arriving airport.
  • All travellers of twelve years and above should undergo the COVID19 PCR test on arrival (Day One) from a Ministry of Health approved private-sector laboratory or a state sector laboratory.
  • Children below twelve years of age will be exempted from on arrival (Day One) PCR testing, if they are continued to be quarantined at Quarantine Hotel / Centre / safe & Secure certified Level 1 Hotel.

However, if the on arrival (Day One) PCR testing of an accompanying traveller of the child is positive for COVID19, a child below twelve years will also be subjected to PCR testing subsequently.

Sri Lanka Quarantine Rules For Sri Lankan Citizens

For Sri Lankan Citizens:

  • If Sri Lankan Citizens (including Sri Lankan Seafarers arriving by air) staying in a designated Quarantine Hotel after arriving in Sri Lanka, they do not need to get prior approval from the Foreign Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka to arrive in Sri Lanka.

They have to liaise with the airline and arrive in Sri Lanka after booking the Quarantine Hotel.

  • If Sri Lankan Citizens (including Sri Lankan Seafarers arriving by air) or Dual Citizens (if using the Sri Lankan passport to arrive) staying in a Government Quarantine Centre after arriving in Sri Lanka, they should get prior approval from the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka (Email: [email protected]) to arrive in Sri Lanka.
  • Travellers arriving via Sri Lanka Tourism should get the prior approval to enter the country via Sri Lanka Tourism through, https://www.srilanka.travel/helloagain. Sri Lankan Citizens, are allowed to enter through Sri Lanka Tourism and do not need to get the prior approval of the Foreign Ministry.

They have to abide by operational guidelines of Sri Lanka Tourism in addition to provisions of this letter and other Health Ministry protocols on COVID-19 preventive measures.

  • If quarantine is at a Quarantine Hotel (single room or shared facility only by family members), exit PCR testing will be done on Day Seven and after the Day Seven negative PCR report is available, balance period (until completion of 14 days from the date of arrival to Sri Lanka) will be mandatorily home quarantined.
  • If quarantine is at a Quarantine Centre (with shared facility), exit PCR testing will be done for Sri Lankan Citizens on Day Ten (and once the Day Ten PCR negative report is available, balance period (until completion of 14 days from the date of arrival to Sri Lanka) will be mandatorily home quarantined.

Further restrictions may apply, check here for more.

Is It Safe To Travel To Sri Lanka Right Now

No, it is not safe to travel to Sri Lanka currently and travellers are advised to avoid all nonessential travel to Sri Lanka. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Sri Lanka due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Current Quarantine Rules In Sri Lanka

  • After completion of formalities at the airport, all travellers will be transferred to a Quarantine Centre managed by the Government of Sri Lanka or to a Hotel designated for quarantine or to a Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel.

Transport shall be provided by the government authorities or the Hotel Management in a pre-determined manner.

  • Travellers should produce the vaccination certificate/ card to In charge of the Quarantine Hotel / Centre or Hotel Doctor at Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel.

For “Fully Vaccinated” travellers, If the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccination are completed and departs from abroad two weeks after completion of vaccination, they will be considered as “fully vaccinated” and the following measures should be taken.

  • No further quarantine is necessary for fully vaccinated travellers.
  • In charge officer of the Quarantine Hotel / Centre or Hotel Doctor at Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel should discharge the traveller after verifying the status of vaccination (through documents) and issuing a “Discharge Document”.

If there are children below twelve years, they can be discharged with fully vaccinated travellers by adhering to the following measures:

  • Children of two to twelve years should be subjected to an on arrival (Day One) PCR testing and they should have negative results.
  • Children below two years will not be subjected to PCR testing after arrival to Sri Lanka and they will be discharged with fully vaccinated caretakers.

However, if the on arrival (Day One) PCR testing of an accompanying traveller of the child is positive for COVID-19, a child below two years will also be subjected to PCR testing subsequently.

  • Quarantine measures for travellers who have not received COVID-19 vaccination/ not completed the recommended doses of vaccination / departed from abroad within less than two weeks of completion of recommended doses of vaccination:

If quarantine is at a Quarantine Hotel (single room or shared facility only by family members)

  • Exit PCR testing will be done on Day Seven for Sri Lankan Citizens/ Dual Citizens and after the Day Seven negative PCR report is available, the balance period (until completion of 14 days from the date of arrival to Sri Lanka) will be mandatorily home quarantined.
  • If the Valid Resident Visa Holder staying in a Quarantine Hotel, has a residence/home in Sri Lanka where they could undergo mandatory home quarantine for the balance period (until completion of 14 days from the date of arrival to Sri Lanka), they should give the address of the residence/home to In-charge officer of the Quarantine Hotel.
  • They can be discharged from the hotel after conducting a PCR test on Day Seven and when the PCR negative report is available.
  • They have to undergo mandatory home quarantine for the balance period (until the completion of 14 days from the date of arrival to Sri Lanka) at the residence/home. They should stay at the same address where they have declared to get discharged from the Quarantine Hotel.
  • If they have changed the addresses after getting discharged from the Quarantine Hotel, they will be sent for mandatory quarantine at a Quarantine Hotel for 14 days.
  • For other Foreign Nationals (including Valid Resident Visa Holders who do not have a residence/home at the time of arrival to Sri Lanka, exit PCR testing will be done on Day eleven to fourteen and will be released after completing fourteen days if the PCR report is negative.

If quarantine is at a Quarantine Centre (with shared facility)

  • Exit PCR testing will be done for Sri Lankan Citizens / Dual Citizens on Day Ten (and once the Day Ten PCR negative report is available, the balance period (until completion of 14 days from the date of arrival to Sri Lanka) will be mandatorily home quarantined.

Exit PCR will be done for all travellers of two years and above.

  • Children below two years of age will be exempted from exit PCR testing. If the PCR test result of an accompanying traveller of the child is positive for COVID-19, the child below two years will also be subjected to PCR testing subsequently.
  • If completes the two weeks period of recommended doses of vaccination during their stay at Quarantine Hotel / Centre / Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel after arriving in Sri Lanka, they should be discharged with a negative PCR test result (done after completing the two weeks from last vaccination date). No further quarantine is necessary.
  • Children below twelve years should be discharged with fully vaccinated caretakers after conducting an exit PCR testing among children of two to twelve years with negative results.
  • All children of twelve years and above should undergo quarantine at a designated Quarantine Hotel / Centre / Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel even if the caretakers are fully vaccinated.

These children may accompany an adult who is not vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for exemption of quarantine.

    • If a fully vaccinated adult enters a Quarantine Hotel / Centre / Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel as a caretaker of a child or of an adult, should remain in the quarantine Hotel / Centre / Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel, until the quarantine period of the care recipient (child or an adult) is completed.
    • Fully vaccinated caretaker of a child or of an adult who is eligible for exemption of quarantine will not be subjected to exit PCR testing unless they have symptoms or the person cared for (child or an adult) becomes positive/symptomatic.
    • If the PCR testing is positive, the in-charge officer of the Quarantine Hotel / Centre or Hotel Doctor/Hotel Management at Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel should immediately inform the area Medical officer of Health (MOH) and email the details to Epidemiology Unit ([email protected] and [email protected]).

The treatment protocol of the Ministry of Health for COVID-19 patients will follow.

  • Immediate close contacts of the positive person will be further quarantined after assessing the risk by area MOH / Regional Epidemiologist / Consultant Community Physician of the RDHS office.
  • Discharging travellers from Quarantine Hotel / Centre / Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel

Procedures to be followed by the in-charge officer of the Quarantine Hotel / Centre or Hotel Doctor / Hotel Management at Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel when discharging travellers are as follows:

  • Should issue a “Discharge Document” to each traveller for Reporting and recording by authorities.
  • After discharging the travellers, should email the details to the Epidemiology Unit ([email protected] and [email protected]) of the Ministry of Health.

Sri Lanka Travel Restrictions Lifted

  • The Sri Lankan government lifted an entry ban on individuals with recent travel history in the UK on February 17, 2021.
  • Arrivals from all countries are allowed entry as Sri Lankan authorities have allowed international flights to resume to and from Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (HRI).

However, Sri Lankan authorities announced that an islandwide travel restriction will be imposed from 11:00 pm local time on May 21 till 4:00 am on May 25 in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Paid Quarantine Hotels In Sri Lanka

Eligible passengers can access www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/ and make a reservation at a listed Safe and Secure level 1 hotel to start the process of acquiring the ETA/SLTDA letter.

The passenger may also use a certified travel agent as listed in www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/. You can find the list of Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotels in Sri Lanka here.



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Akesse Sanza

Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian Travel Blogger, Travel and Tourism Consultant, and Anti-human Trafficking And Safe Migration advocate. Akesse loves everything Travel & Tourism and aims to see every single country in the world.

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