- Two weeks prior to arrival date travellers are expected to receive both vaccine doses for COVID-19
- Still need to spend 24 hours at a Safe and Secure (Tier 1) hotel until a negative on-arrival PCR result produced
Sri Lanka has further eased restrictions for tourists by allowing quarantine-free entry for those fully-vaccinated, a step that would provide the much required impetus for the struggling industry.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) announced that a decision has been made to allow international travellers, who have received both vaccine doses for COVID-19 two weeks before the arrival date, to enter the nation without having to undergo quarantine. The requirement of spending 24 hours at a Safe and Secure (Tier 1) hotel until a negative on-arrival PCR result is produced and undergoing a second PCR on the seventh day remain unchanged.
Travellers are still required to produce a negative PCR test report 72 hours prior to boarding the flight, as per the standard procedure. They would also have to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) via the Sri Lanka Tourism website and purchase a mandatory visitor COVID Insurance coverage costing US $ 12, covering a period of 30 days and a US $ 50,000 cover.
It is mandatory for the fully-vaccinated travellers to carry their original vaccine certificate card and if the certification is not in English, an authorised translation of their vaccine certificate must be produced along with the original certificate, the SLTDA said. Non-vaccinated children under 18 are able to undergo an on-arrival PCR test along with their parents and upon obtaining a negative test result will be permitted to travel within the island without quarantine when accompanied by a fully-vaccinated parent or guardian. Children under two will not be subject to a PCR test, unless their parent or guardian tests positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers, the series of restrictions imposed are not eased as yet. Such travellers will have to follow the standard procedure of quarantining in a Safe and Secure Tier 1 hotel up to 14 days, depending on the vaccination status and the duration of stay. For those with a travel history (including transit) in the last 14 days to India, Vietnam, South America, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia, will not be permitted to disembark in Sri Lanka until further notice.
Commenting on the restrictions in place, SLTDA Chairperson Kimarli Fernando pointed out that the measures have helped curb the spread of the pandemic while preventing new variants from entering the island. “With the success of the national vaccination rollout programme, we are ready to commence operations as usual for fully-vaccinated arrivals and the tourism industry is well prepared to welcome our international travellers while ensuring the safety and security of our communities,” she said.