sri lanka reopening to tourists

Sri Lanka is Open for Tourism with Special VISA, Testing and Quarantine

Sri Lanka is open to visitors from all countries. Foreign travelers will need to acquire a visa, health insurance, and obtain a negative COVID-19 test result 92 hours before their trip. 

They will also need to show proof of a booking at a level 1 hotel where they will isolate in a “bio bubble” for at least the first 13 days of their stay. At their hotel, guests will be tested on arrival, on day 5-7, and again on day 14.

Sri Lanka will refuse entry to arrivals from the U.K. and any person who stayed in that territory in the 14 days prior.

Sri Lanka reopening tourism – Latest Updates

Update – February 19

To visit Sri Lanka travelers must first obtain a proper visa. During the process they need to purchase local health insurance and show proof of a COVID-19 testing appointment. They will also need to book accommodations in a level 1 hotel.

There is a period of 13-14 days of isolation in the “bio bubbles” the country has designed. During this time visitors cannot interact freely with the locals but they can use their hotels facilities, switch hotels and visit a number of approved tourist attractions within the bubble.

For more information visit Sri Lanka Travel website.

Sri Lanka has reported that 196,163 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to the population from January 28 to February 16.

Vaccination Rollout

Update – January 19

Sri Lankan officials confirmed reopening of tourism after 10 months. Entry and travel restrictions will be very strict.

“It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce that Sri Lanka will be open for tourism from Thursday,” said Kimarli Fernando, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

Tourists can only stay in 55 designated hotels and they will be required to take 3-4 COVID tests.

All visitors will need a proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken no more than 4 days before departure. Visitors staying up to 7 days, will need to take 2 more tests and those staying longer than 7 days will need to take 3 more tests.

All visitors will also be required to purchase US$12 medical insurance that covers up to US$50,000.

Flights from the U.K. remain banned and also travelers who spend 2 weeks before arrival in the UK.

Update – December 31

After 9 months of the travel ban, Sri Lanka is officially reopening for tourism. A special flight from Ukraine on January 4 is the first part of the implementation of a pilot program to re-attract visitors. (Source: hindustantimes.com)

PCR testing before boarding a flight to Sri Lanka is expected. Quarantine or additional testing on arrival has not been confirmed yet.

Update – December 19

Commercial flights and aircraft will be allowed to land at the Katunayake, Mattala, Jaffna and Batticaloa airports from Dec. 26.

CAA authorities have said that the health guidelines required for the resumption of airline operations will be released soon.

What is the situation for airports and airlines in Sri Lanka? 

Sri Lanka airports - Travel restrictions

Katunayake and Mattala airports are open to international chartered and commercial flights. Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is open and it has also been certified as safe by the ACI.

Has Sri Lanka managed to control the COVID-19 pandemic? 

As of February 20, , the country has reported 78,420 cases and 430 deaths.

One potential explanation of their success at managing the pandemic may be the strict protocols local airline crews and foreign visitors (at least those allowed) need to follow to enter and exit the country. 

According to the CDC, Sri Lanka is at warning level 4 what means high alert and traveling to Sri Lanka is not recommended. (CDC.gov)

Why should Sri Lanka be on travelers’ post-pandemic bucket list? 

Sri Lanka opening for tourists

The stunning landscapes, fascinating heritage, and the warmth of their population have made the small country island of Sri Lanka a must-see for travelers worldwide. Today, when many countries are focusing their efforts on reactivating their economies, we wonder, as you probably do too, when we will be able to bathe in the beautiful Sri Lankan beaches again.

Sri Lanka is home to wildlife-packed national parks, sparkling beaches, blue whales and dolphins, tea plantations, and way more. Here are our recommendations for places you can’t miss.

Gal Oya National Park

Don’t miss the forest where you can find rare plants of medicinal value such as Triphala. 

Mirissa Blue Whale Watching 

Perhaps we will all be in luck and the country does open in time for us to partake in the miracle that is to personally witness these beautiful animals migrating to better waters to mate from December to April.

Koneswaram Kovil

This temple overlooking the sea is not only a site of Hindu pilgrimage but also a beautiful place for every person looking to be quiet for a moment and enjoy the little magical places where nature and man-made wonders have found a perfect balance. 

Hikkaduwa Beach

Considered one of the best Hikkaduwa surfing spots in Sri Lanka, it has become popular among visitors thanks to its clear and hot waters and because waves size ranges from 4 to 11 feet. You can enjoy the best surfing during its dry season, from November to March.

Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island is a national park home to 100 species of coral and 300 coral reef fish. This natural place is located within the dry zone of Sri Lanka.

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