Here's what to expect when Sri Lanka opens to visitors in August
June 09, 2020
Last Update: 2020-06-09 14:43:59
Sri Lanka has announced that it is ready to welcome visitors again from 1 August, having closed to travelers due to the wordwide COVID-19 pandemic. In advance of this, it has implemented a series of safety guidelines and precautionary measures for those arriving to take its many beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, rolling surf, famous tea and flavourful food.
There are new safety protocols for visitors to Sri Lanka © aksenovden/Shutterstock
A negative PCR test for COVID-19 that is no older than 72 hours must be taken prior to boarding the flight and arriving in Sri Lanka. Visitors do not have to undergo quarantine on arrival unless symptoms are detected. In that case, a test would be conducted on arrival at the airport, free of charge. It is hoped that by August, the results will be back within four-six hours, but if it takes 24 hours, the traveller can select an approved hotel for a one-night stay until the test results are received.
Sri Lanka is famous for its many beaches © NULL/500px
A further test will be done four-five days after arrival by a mobile unit, and travelers staying for more than ten days will be required to take a third test during their stay. In the case of a positive PCR result, quarantine in a designated hotel or hospitalisation will take place depending on the details of the case. Quarantine will usually last 14 to 21 days if symptoms are detected.
Those visiting the country must stay for a minimum of five nights, and they must have a valid visa (cost US$100/€88.46). These are issued for 30 days and extendable for up to six months after arrival, and the country is currently considering whether to grant five-year multiple entry visas with a maximum six-month stay. Independent professional audits will be done to certify accommodation providers, and they will be listed on the Sri Lanka Tourism website.
Sri Lanka has made preparations for welcoming visitors again © Jaromír Chalabala/500px
The country doesn't want visitors to use public transport upon arrival in the country, so has asked travelers to arrange transportation prior to arrival with their accommodation provider or travel agent. There will be no travel restrictions between districts for visitors, and all tourism sites will be open from 1 August with safety protocols and measures in place.