FAQS on Proposed Safety Measures for International Travellers
Is Sri Lanka open for tourists?
Yes, currently all the tourist destinations in Sri Lanka are ready to welcome guests from within the country and all over the world. Besides, both the major airports connecting the country to the different corners of the globe, Bandaranaike International Airport [BIA] and Mattala Rajapaksa Hambantota Airport [MRIA] are both functioning at full capacity.
What are some of the protocols you will be required to follow while travelling to Sri Lanka?
On your arrival in Sri Lanka, it is mandatory to stay at a certified Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure’ hotel such as Owl and the Pussycat. We at OTP, pride ourselves in being among the top Level 1 hotels in Sri Lanka. You can book your stay with us at www.otphotel.com. With the certification comes the obligation to abide by all the necessary tourism operational guidelines which include taking proper care of travellers while paying special attention to their sanitation requirements during the initial phase of the visit.
Any non-vaccinated visitor is allowed to stay at a Certified Level 1 hotel for the first 14 days of their visit during which they must undertake the PCR test on their arrival. There are no restrictions on the number of Level 1 hotel a visitor is allowed to stay at or use the facilities of the accommodations. Tourists can only visit the attractions in a bio bubble. For more information, please visit www.srilanka.travel/hello again.
A bio-bubble is a measure to ensure the safety of our international visitors and give their well-being the highest priority. They will visit the sites in these bubbles and can hence enjoy the sights carefree. Visit www.srilanka.travel/helloagain. Unless mentioned otherwise, visitors of all nationalities can visit Sri Lanka.
Will I be required to pre-purchase PCR tests before I arrive?
Yes, travellers are required to pre-purchase the PCR tests. This is also dependant on the duration of their stay and it is also deemed mandatory for the visa application process.
Pay for PCR tests (USD 40 per PCR test) depending on the number of days of stay and vaccination status.
- If vaccinated - 1 PCR test on arrival
- If not vaccinated - 2 PCR tests on arrival and one exit PCR. However, if the stay is less than 5 days, no exit PCR is required.
- Children below 2 years are exempted from PCR testing.
- Children between 2-12 years,
- Vaccinated route - undergo only on-arrival PCR.
- Not-vaccinated route - undergo only exit PCR.
- If a child exhibits symptoms or is a first contact of a COVID-19 positive patient, the child will have to go undergo a mandatory PCR test.
First PCR: Upon arrival at your hotel, prior to check-in
Second PCR: Only if your stay is between 5-14 days. The second test will be then conducted 5-7 days later or within the mentioned period if you show any symptoms.
Third PCR: Conducted between 10-14 days only if the stay exceeds 14 days.
Before boarding flights and on arrival at the airport, you will be required to produce evidence of negative PCR reports from an accredited laboratory taken 72 hours prior to boarding.
Is there a mandatory limit on the minimum number of days I can stay while visiting Sri Lanka?
No, there are no such restrictions and limits to the duration of your stay here.
Do I need to quarantine for 14 days?
No, there is no requirement for visitors to quarantine for 14 days.
Please ensure you have the following before starting the Visa application process:
A pre-confirmed booking at a certified Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure’ hotel, depending on your vaccination status and the length of your stay.
How do I apply for a Visa?
To apply for a visa, you must go through the online procedure at the Immigration ETA portal. It is mandatory to possess a confirmed hotel booking, pre-purchased PCR tests and a mandatory COVID-19 Insurance Cover throughout your ‘Safe and Secure Level 1’ hotel stay when making your booking while applying for the visa. The reference number given to you by your hotel must be included in the visa form under the section labelled ‘contact details.’ For the section asking for an address in Sri Lanka, you will have to provide the name of the hotel, its address and the reference number issued from the hotel.
If you have dual citizenship, the ETA visa will not be required. However, you will still need the hotel confirmation, COVID-19 Insurance cover and the pre-purchased PCR test.
Are all tourists allowed to visit Sri Lanka?
Unless mentioned otherwise, there are no restrictions on visitors from other countries to visit Sri Lanka.
Do I need a COVID-19 insurance cover?
Yes, you will be required to pay USD 12 for a 1-month insurance cover of USD 50,000 offered by People’s Insurance PLC. It is mandatory for the visa application procedure. Visit www.srilanka.travel/helloagain for more information.
How to apply for the mandatory COVID-19 insurance cover?
Visit www.srilanka.travel/helloagain and follow the instructions accordingly as you are redirected to the application portal and the payment gateway. The payment will henceforth be facilitated through the tourism mobile app visit Sri Lanka. The cost can also be paid directly to the hotel you decide to stay at while making the reservations.
Will I need COVID-19 insurance to stay for more than 30 days?
Yes, while you will initially have to pay USD 12 for a 30-day COVID-19 insurance cover of USD 50,000, you should extend this insurance for a stay extending the 30 days.
Will I be required to follow the protocols despite being vaccinated?
Yes, the protocols do not have any exceptions depending upon your vaccination status and will have to be strictly adhered to.
What protocols do I have to follow if I am already vaccinated?
Travellers who have completed the two doses of COVID-19 vaccination and are arriving two weeks after being vaccinated, they will be asked to produce the original copy of the vaccination along with the certified English translation of the same in case the certificate is not in English. The certificate is to be produced in front of the Airport Health Office. Travellers will have to undergo a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival at the hotel.
Sri Lankan citizens/ Dual citizens and foreign nationals can leave the Level 1 hotel once the Day 1 PCR test results are negative and post the issue of discharge documents by the L1 hotel doctor after the proper verification of the vaccination status and PCR results. The traveller can then leave the hotel and the bio-bubble. Travellers making their own arrangements are also required to practice COVID-19 preventive measures through the course of their travel.
What is a ‘Safe & Secure’ Certified hotel?
The hotels carrying the ‘Safe & Secure’ certificates follow the COVID-19 Health Protocols and the Tourism Operational Guidelines. The hotels have undergone a thorough audit conducted by an independent firm and will be subjected to continuous assessment. The certificate issued also comes with a QR code unique to each of the hotels awarded the certificate. A scan of the code gives the details on the certificate and allows guests to report directly to Sri Lanka Tourism in case of any non-compliance on the hotel’s behalf with image evidence. The certificate is a reflection of the government’s belief that it will showcase trust, safety, and assurance for all international guests of the country. Certified hotels are encouraged to display the certificate with the QR code at a position easily accessible to all guests.
What is a Level 1 Certified hotel?
Level 1 hotels are those among the ‘Safe & Secure’ hotels in Sri Lanka which provide accommodation services for the first 14 days stay for International guests. These hotels are not allowed to accept bookings from local tourists or host any banquets or events for the local population.
Am I allowed to use all the hotel facilities?
Yes, visitors have unrestricted access to all the facilities in the hotel such as the gym, swimming pool, etc.
Can I go on local sightseeing and visit the tourist attractions in Sri Lanka?
Yes, you can. Non-vaccinated travellers can visit selected tourist sites within bio-bubbles. Transport facilities must be arranged by the hotel or the accommodation provider or with a travel agent. Availing public transport will not be allowed.
Along with your visa application, you will be required to download the Tourism Mobile App ‘Visit Sri Lanka.’ The app is easily available on all mobile e-platforms such as App Store and Google Play Store. The app can be used for easy facilitation and coordination during the length of their stay.
All vaccinated travellers are also free to visit any tourist sites after their discharge from L1 hotels upon the receipt of a negative PCR test. They must also comply with the rules and regulations. Visit srilanka.travel/helloagain for more details.
Can I travel on my own after 14 days?
Yes, you are free to travel in the local community on your own after 14 days.
Can I use public transportation during my visit?
In the first 14 days of your visit, you will not be allowed to travel via public transport. Thereafter, the use of public transport is allowed but not encouraged.
Where can I get my PCR tests done?
The facilities for testing will be provided by your L1 hotel ‘Safe and Secure’ certified hotel and the tests will be conducted by a technician trained and approved by the Ministry of Health.
What happens if someone is tested positive for COVID-19 with symptoms?
The level 1 ‘Safe & Secure’ certified hotel in consultation with the hotel doctor/local health authorities will arrange for the patient to be admitted at a Private Hospital approved by the Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 Insurance cover will compensate the hospital charges including the ambulance transfer fees up to $ 50,000 for a month.
What happens if someone is COVID-19 positive and Non-symptomatic?
Non-symptomatic COVID-19 positive patients will be quarantined in an isolated area in the same hotel under the strict supervision of the hotel doctor and local health authorities. In case there is a requirement to transfer them to a private hospital at any stage, the COVID-19 Insurance cover will compensate the hospital charges including the ambulance transfer fees up to $ 50,000 for a month.