Sri Lanka is a country of warm-hearted people with curries that will set your soul (and tongue) on fire, misty mountain towns, fascinating heritage, and spectacular natural beauty from the hustle and bustle of the cities to the palm-fringed coastline. While beach bums will enjoy the island’s beaches, hip cafes, and adventurous surf, nature lovers and history enthusiasts will be enchanted by the island’s old villages and rolling hills.
As the worldwide vaccine rollout gains traction, things have been returning to normal around the world. The good news to you is that Sri Lanka has now been opened again for travelers to visit the charming Paradise Island.
However, there are several Sri Lanka Travel Requirements you need to follow to make sure you will have a safe and enjoyable trip out there, let’s go and check them out below.
Sri Lanka Travel Requirements
For travellers who have been fully-vaccinated
No quarantine or on-arrival PCR test is necessary for fully vaccinated travelers, and they are welcome to stay in any accommodation of their choice. The Sri Lanka government also recognizes any vaccination that is accepted by the country of origin. Make sure that upon your arrival in Sri Lanka, you can submit an original copy of the vaccination certificate in English to be eligible for this fully-vaccinated traveler category.
As of October 26th, 2021, these are the current Sri Lanka travel requirements for the fully-vaccinated Travelers:
- Apply for international travelers on a tourist visa and there is no prior authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Civil Aviation Authority needed.
- There is no minimum length of stay.
- Travelers with a negative COVID-19 PCR test report that is acquired within 72 hours after completing the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine 14 days before their departure date will be considered fully vaccinated. Any sort of vaccination that the country of origin acknowledges will be accepted.
- Children aged 12 to 18 will be regarded as fully vaccinated if they leave two weeks after receiving at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
a. Documentations needed for fully-vaccinated travellers
Before departing, passengers must prepare these things to meet the Sri Lanka travel requirements:
- Prepare your valid tourist visa. All visa applications must be made online at the official Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization System here
- Prepare your negative PCR test result within 72 hours before your departure date (children below 2 years are exempted).
- The original vaccination certificate/card (together with a certified English language translation if the certificate/card is not in English).
- Health Declaration Form, which must be filled out completely. Each of the accompanying children should be filled out a separate form (if any).
- Although fully-vaccinated travelers are exempted from having mandatory local COVID-19 insurance, they are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance that will cover COVID-19 related treatments should such needs arise. Any hospitalization fees, COVID-19, and general treatments for tourists will not be covered by the Sri Lankan government.
- Fully vaccinated travelers who are accompanied by unvaccinated/not-fully vaccinated children should ensure that their comprehensive travel insurance is extended to appropriately cover the unvaccinated/not-fully vaccinated children. The Sri Lankan government will not be responsible for any hospitalization fees and treatments incurred during their time in Sri Lanka.
- Fully vaccinated travelers who are traveling with unvaccinated/not-fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 18 pay a USD 40 fee for an on-arrival PCR test. Travelers can pay for PCR tests at any Ministry of Health-approved laboratory, including the one at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). Another option is paying in advance here
b. Accommodation and Transportation (to and from the airport)
Travelers who have been fully vaccinated are free to make their arrangements for lodging, airport transfers, and local transportation. To guarantee their health and safety, they are encouraged to select safe and secure licensed hotels and travel agents.
Airport transfers will be organized by either the relevant “Safe & Secure Certified” L1 hotel or travel agent if fully vaccinated visitors choose “Safe & Secure Certified” L1 hotels/travel agents.
For travelers who have NOT been vaccinated or fully-vaccinated
Unvaccinated and not-fully vaccinated foreign travelers are still allowed to enter Sri Lanka without approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Civil Aviation Authority. Unvaccinated means that you have never received a dose of COVID-19 vaccination. Not-fully vaccinated means that you have yet to complete a full dose of the vaccine and/or have gone from abroad within less than 2 weeks of completing the recommended doses of vaccine.
The unvaccinated and not-fully vaccinated are required to stay in the ‘Tourism Bio Bubble’ until they have completed the following:
- 14 days after vaccination/7 days after arrival (whichever comes first will apply for not-fully vaccinated travellers)
- 7 days from the date of arrival (applies for not-vaccinated travellers)
Upon receiving negative findings from the on-arrival PCR test, travelers are free to visit approved tourist attractions and use all hotel services.
a. What is the Tourism Bio Bubble in Sri Lanka?
Tourism Bio Bubble is a type of Sri Lanka travel requirements that restricts a person’s interaction with others to those who have tested negative for COVID. It’s usually reserved for athletes or other large groups of people arriving in a location. It could result in movement restrictions, even within the hotel. It nearly always entails periodical COVID tests to ensure that the bubble’s integrity is maintained.
b. Documentations Needed
1. Travelers to Sri Lanka under this category need to pay for the obligatory COVID 19 insurance, and PCR testing in advance and acquire the tourism reference number required to apply for a visa. Go to this link to process your online payment. Another payment alternative for the PCR testing is travelers can pay (if applicable) at a Safe & Secure Certified L1 hotel or through a Safe & Secure Certified travel agent.) SLTDA is where travelers can pay for the obligatory COVID 19 Local Insurance.
2. Possess a valid tourist visa. All visa applications must be submitted online, please visit eta.gov.lk for more information. When filing for a visa, make sure that you provide the correct Tourism reference number.
3. Make sure you have the following items before applying for a visa:
- A pre-confirmed reservation for up to 7 nights and 8 days at a Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure Certified’ hotel/s, depending on the length of your stay and vaccination status.
- Proof of payment of the obligatory local COVID-19 insurance ($12) that covers USD 50,000 for one month (including children below 2 years).
- Depending on your vaccination status, pay for PCR tests (USD 40 for each PCR test).
4. The original vaccination certificate/card (together with a certified English language translation if the certificate/card is not in English).
5. Health Declaration Form, which must be filled out completely. Each of the accompanying children should fill out a separate form (if any).
6. Have completed a negative PCR test within 72 hours before the departure date (children below 2 years are exempted).
7. Airport transfers will be coordinated by the appropriate Safe & Secure Certified L1 hotels or Safe & Secure Certified travel agents.
8. Travelers with negative COVID-19 PCR tests are authorized to travel to foreign countries during the quarantine period.
Tracking Covid in Sri Lanka
The Stay Safe COVID application is designed to prevent and stop the virus spread by tracking QR codes. Although it is not required, anyone with a smartphone will be able to scan QR codes on display to check in to local businesses such as restaurants, hotels, etc.
While in Sri Lanka
While you are excitedly exploring Paradise Island, Sri Lanka, always abide by the local government health protocols such as; wearing masks in public locations such as aircraft, public transportation, companies, crowded places, and government offices. Physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, and venue capacity limitations are also advised.
Travelers are also being welcomed into hotels and guesthouses all around Sri Lanka. In most regions, restaurants, and cafés are open. However, exhibitions, conferences, parties, indoor and outdoor events, carnivals, musical performances, and processions are all currently prohibited.
Each country has its own set of rules for citizens who are coming back from foreign countries. Keep up with local government updates for information that is relevant to your circumstance.
So, there you have it, the current and updated Sri Lanka travel requirements as of October 26th, 2021. Let us know about your experience traveling to Sri Lanka, and enjoy your trip!