Sri Lanka Removes Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement For The Vaccinated From March 1

Sri Lanka Removes Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement For The Vaccinated From March 1

Sri Lanka has joined the list of countries where vaccinated travelers can visit without proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced Monday.

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is projected to see a rise in visitors once international travelers become familiar with the new guidelines. 

Scrapping the PCR or rapid test requirement prior to departure will make travel to Sri Lanka easier at a time when international travel is often seen as an unnecessary hassle.

According to Sri Lankan Airlines “fully vaccinated travelers are considered as those who are above the age of 18 years and have completed the recommended dosage of a given type of COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before their scheduled date of departure to Sri Lanka.” 

Sri Lankan airlines stated that people aged 18 and older who have received at least a single dose of an approved vaccine 14 days before travel will also be considered fully vaccinated.

“However, passengers who do not meet this criterion, are still required to produce a negative COVID-19 test report before departure,” said the airlines in a statement.

temple in colombo
Seema Malaka Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Those who can produce proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 will also be exempt from testing requirements.

Since countries are at different vaccination phases, people who have completed the “recommended doses” of a COVID-19 vaccine and leave their country two weeks following completion will be regarded as fully vaccinated, according to the statement.

As COVID-19 “progresses from a pandemic to an endemic stage,” the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has requested nations to remove travel restrictions as rapidly as feasible.

“With the experience of the Omicron variant, there is mounting scientific evidence and opinion opposing the targeting of travelers with restrictions and country bans to control the spread of COVID-19,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General said a few weeks ago. 

“The billions spent testing travelers would be far more effective if allocated to vaccine distribution or strengthening health care systems,” he added.