Sri Lanka Tourist
Visa & Covid Travel Updates 2021

Updated September 29, 2021

After a Covid outbreak, Sri Lanka has reopened its doors to the world, assuring that all precautionary measures have been taken to make your island holiday as safe, secure, and quiet as possible. Here is our guide to Sri Lanka Tourist Visa & Covid Travel Updates 2021 to help you get ready to explore the wild and fantastic. If you require assistance in obtaining a verified safe hotel reservation, a tourist visa to Sri Lanka, pre-purchased PCR testing, or a necessary COVID-19 Insurance Cover, please contact us.

1. Protocol for Arrivals to Sri Lanka

The COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka is part of the ongoing global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Sri Lanka's first confirmed case of Corona virus was on January 27,2020 which was of a 44 year old Chinese woman from Hubei who was treated in the Infectious Disease Hospital in Angoda.A total of 366,000 COVID-19 cases had been registered in the country as of August 2021, with 6500 individuals dying. Despite the fact that the country is experiencing an outbreak and is under lockdown, Sri Lanka has opened its doors to tourists. The following is the Health Protocol for Visitors to Sri Lanka, which is effective as of July 24, 2021.

Protocol for Arrivals to Sri Lanka

Process of visiting Sri Lanka

Check out the graphics and guide below to have a better grasp of how to visit Sri Lanka during the Covid pandemic.

Process of visiting Sri Lanka
Flights

Search available flights to Sri Lanka (BIA – Colombo Airport) & secure a flight

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02
PCR
PCR

Search available flights to Sri Lanka (BIA – Colombo Airport) & secure a flight

hotel-arabiers srilanka
Hotel

A pre-confirmed booking at a Level 1 'Safe & Secure Certified' hotel.

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04
arabiers srilanka- insurance
Insurance

mandatory COVID-19 insurance local travel.

booking - arabiers srilanka
Booking PCR

pre-purchasing PCR tests.

05
06
visa-arabiers srilanka
Visa

Applying Sri Lanka Visit Visa (ETA).

pcr- arabiers srilanka
PCR

PCR test on arrival.

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Enter- arabiers srilanka
Enter

Fully vaccinated with Negative test, go & explore Sri Lanka / those who not vaccinated 14 days quarantine.

Process in Detail

1. Flights

To prevent extra costs, all applicants are strongly urged to consult the destination airlines with permission and clearance for departure to Sri Lanka and verify flight availability in advance to apply for visas and pre-purchase accommodation, insurance, and PCR

2. PCR

As a global travel requirement, it is necessary to have a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of departing for Sri Lanka at an authorized laboratory (children under the age of two are exempt). Please double-check your airline's requirements as well.

3. Hotel

A pre-confirmed reservation at a Level 1 'Safe & Secure Certified' hotel or hotels for up to 15 days, depending on the length of your stay and vaccination status. Hotel reservations can be made directly with the hotel or through a ‘Safe & Secure' certified travel agent or online travel agency (OTA). Visitors are permitted to move within L1 hotels and use all hotel facilities following a negative on-arrival PCR. Please go to

4. Insurance

The mandatory COVID-19 local travel insurance cover is USD 12 for a policy of USD 50,000 for a period of one month (including children below 2 years)

5. Booking PCR

Pre-book your PCR based on your vaccination status.

6. Visa

Except for Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ghana, all countries are permitted to enter Sri Lanka for tourism purposes with an ETA Tourist visa issued by the Sri Lankan government.6. PCR up on arrival

7. PCR up on arrival
On arrival (Day One), all travelers should have COVID-19 PCR tests performed
  • Children between the ages of 2 and 12 will be exempt from On Arrival (Day One) PCR testing ONLY if they are not vaccinated
  • Children under the age of two are exempt from PCR testing. Children will be subjected to PCR tests if their parents or guardians develop symptoms or have positive PCR test results.
  • On arrival (Day One), all travelers should have COVID-19 PCR tests performed.
  • Children aged 2 to 12 will be exempt from On Arrival (Day One) PCR testing ONLY if they are traveling the nonvaccinated route.
  • Children under the age of two are exempt from PCR testing. Children will be subjected to PCR tests if their parents or guardians develop symptoms or have positive PCR test results.
8. Enter Sri Lanka
Fully Vaccinated Travelers

Individuals who travel within two weeks of completing the required COVID-19 vaccination dose are regarded as fully vaccinated travellers. Any type of vaccination recognized by the country of origin is acceptable.

On arrival PCR test
  • Continue to stay at a Certified Safe & Secure L1 hotel until the on-arrival PCR test is completed (for 24-48 hours).
  • Vaccinated travelers can leave the bio-bubble if their On Arrival (Day One) PCR test results are negative. After verifying the status of vaccination and issuance of a "Discharge Document," the respective L1 hotel doctor will issue a "Discharge Document."
PCR test results.
  • Children aged 2 to 18 who have not been vaccinated are permitted to leave the bubble with fully vaccinated parents if an on-site PCR test results in a negative result.
  • Travelers are not permitted to return to the Tourism bio-bubble after leaving it (i.e., staying at ‘L1 Safe and Secure Certified' hotels is not permitted after leaving the bubble). If you choose to leave the bio-bubble, it is strongly advised that you stay in ‘Safe and Secure Certified' hotels (non-L1) for the remainder of your journey.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers who have not traveled to any travel restricted countries in the previous 14 days (India, South American countries, and South African countries: South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe) and were discharged from an L1 Safe & Secure Certified hotel with an On Arrival (Day One) negative COVID-19 PCR report, a valid passport, and a valid visa., are exempted from 2nd PCR test.
  • Unvaccinated children aged 2 to 18 years who have been released with fully vaccinated parents should have a COVID-19 PCR test performed by a Ministry of Health approved Private Sector or State Sector Laboratory on Day Seven after arriving in Sri Lanka, and the results should be reported to the area MOH by telephone or email.

Incomplete Vaccinated Travelers

Incomplete vaccinated travelers are those who have not received COVID-19 vaccine, have not completed the recommended doses of vaccination, or have left the country within less than two weeks of finishing the recommended doses of vaccination will be considered as incomplete vaccinated travelers.

On arrival PCR

Stay at a Certified Safe & Secure L1 hotel/s for the first 15 days of your trip and do a PCR test upon arrival. Travelers with an on arrival negative PCR test report are allowed to stay at any number of Certified Safe & Secure L1 hotels and enjoy all of the hotel's services. In a bio bubble, visitors are also permitted to visit recognized tourist attractions.


2nd PCR Test

Travelers who have not completed the two-week immunization period

Travelers who have been vaccinated but have not finished the recommended immunization doses within two weeks will be eligible for a shortened bio-bubble duration, as described below.
  • On completion of day 14 of the necessary immunization doses, the traveler will have a second PCR test, and if the findings are negative, then the traveler will be released from the bubble.
  • Children aged 2 to 18 are allowed to leave the bubble with their vaccinated parents if the exit PCR tests are negative. If these unvaccinated children aged 2 to 18 years are released within less than 7 days of arriving in Sri Lanka with a fully vaccinated parent, they should undergo a COVID-19 PCR test from a Ministry of Health approved Private Sector or State Sector Laboratory on Day Seven after arriving in Sri Lanka and notify the results to the area MOH by telephone or email.
  • Children under the age of two are exempt from PCR tests; however, if an accompanying traveler's departure PCR testing for COVID-19 is positive, the child will be exposed to PCR testing as well.

The Hotel Doctor at Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotel will provide a "Discharge Document" after checking the state of vaccination and the two-week completion of the prescribed immunization doses and PCR testing.


2nd PCR Test

Not-vaccinated.

  • The 2nd PCR (Exit PCR) will be performed on Day 14 for all travelers.
  • If leaving the nation between days 5 and 14, no 2nd PCR is necessary.
  • Exit COVID 19 PCR testing is not required for children under the age of two. However, if an accompanying traveler of the child tests positive for COVID-19 at the airport, the child will be submitted to PCR testing as well.
  • After completing day 14 and receiving a negative exit PCR test result, travelers can exit the bio-bubble and return to the community. After validating the status of PCR test findings, the respective L1 hotel doctor will provide a "Discharge Document."

2. Available Attractions

Now that your PCR has been sorted, travel to Sri Lanka to explore the island. The following is a list of things to do in the area. We can arrange airport transfers and transportation to local sites.

Tourist attractions to visit under the Bio Bubble
as at 18th July 2021
Tourists who are within the 15-day bio bubble are now able to visit 18 attractions adhering to
strict health and safety protocols issued by the Ministry of Health
Tourist Sites Date of Visit Time Special Requirements
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic Daily 1130 - 1200

Owners to place their footwear in appropriate bags/covers and keep them in the given basket at the shoe counter reserved for the tourists.

Trousers/ Pants/ Skirts or any other dress long enough to cover the knee

Shirt/ T-shirt/ blouse or any other dress should cover the shoulders

Peradeniya Botanical Garden

Daily 0900 - 1200 Visitors will be received in batches· one batch at a time & Visitors are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.

Dambulla Popham's Arboretum

Dambulla Popham's Arboretum

Ridiyilgama Safari Par Daily 0900 - 1600 From 1st of August 2021
Sigiriya Fortress Daily 0700 - 1600

Maximum of 60 tourists at a time to the museum

Ticket issuing daily 0700 - 1400

Polonnaruwa Daily 0700 - 1600 Ticket issuing daily 0700 - 1400
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600 Srilankan Attraction - Leopard
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600
Anuradhapura Daily 0700 - 1600

3. Insurance

arabiers srilanka A mandatory inbound visitor insurance scheme specifically designed for COVID-19 coverage that would accommodate the Sum Insured USD 50,000 in the event of having caught Covid

Benefit Limits
Room charges for hospitals designated by the Government (Including laundry/linen charges) SLR 18,000/- per day (Maximum up to 30 days)
Intermediary center room charges (If a tourist tested positive for covid-19) SLR 15,000/- per day (Maximum up to 30 days)
Intensive Care charges SLR 100,000/- (Maximum up to 30 days)
Government approved quarantine hotel room charges SLR 15,000/- per day (Up to 21 days)
Repatriation of mortal remains as a result of COVID 19 USD 10,000
Rest of the coverage Based on actuals

4. What is ETA & Types of Visas

What is ETA ?
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is a type of visit visa issued by Sri Lanka. Beginning on January 1, 2012, all holiday or business travelers to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in order to enter the country.
  • Citizens of The Republic of Singapore, The Republic of Maldives, and The Republic of Seychelles are exempt from the requirement of obtaining an ETA to visit Sri Lanka due to reciprocity. However, due to the Covid 19 outbreak, those nationals must also obtain an ETA if their travel is only necessary. The Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is the ETA issuing authority. The ETA is initially valid for 30 days from the date of arrival, but it can be extended for up to six (06) months.

How to apply an ETA Sri Lanka Visit visa ?

Submit soft copies of the documents listed below.

A passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival, as well as a confirmed return ticket.

Make your payment.

Arabiers will send you a payment link through which you can make your paymen

Approval of the ETA.

Prepare for your trip by receiving your ETA approval notice via email.

Types of Sri Lanka visas

Sri Lanka issues four different types of visa permits that allow a person to enter the country

01. Visit Visa

A Visit Visa is an entry permit that signifies the Sri Lankan Government's approval for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa specifies the length of stay as well as the condition(s) of the stay. Under the category of visit visas, there are two subcategories:

1. Tourist Visit Visa -A Tourist Visa is granted to genuine tourists who wish to enter Sri Lanka for the purpose of sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visiting relatives, or yoga training for a limited period of time.

2. Business Purpose Visa -A Business Purpose Visa is issued to foreign nationals who are visiting Sri Lanka for business purposes for a limited time. This visa can be issued for a single or double trip.

02. Transit Visa

A Transit Visa is an entry permit granted to a foreign national for admission into Sri Lanka for a brief period of time incidental to his journey to another destination.

03. Residence Visa

A residence visa is a permit that allows a non-Sri Lankan to live in the country for specific reasons. There are sub-categories such as the Employment Category, the Investor Category, the Religious Category, the Student Category, and so on.

  • Project Professional personnel whose services are required for state-approved projects, as well as expatriate personnel employed in projects under the Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI), and their dependents
  • Personnel employed by banks, as well as their dependents
  • Volunteers
  • Personnel affiliated with Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Personnel employed by diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka in a project, institution, or organization
  • Employees and their dependents who work for a private enterprise
  • Those who want to put their money into Sri Lanka
  • Those who want to put their money into Sri Lanka
  • Members of the Clergy
  • Students in universities, students at state-approved educational institutions, and students at other institutions
04. Gatis Visa

A Diplomatic or Official Passport holder, or a passport with a valid Diplomatic or Official endorsement, shall not be charged any visa fees.

5. Covid Updates

September 28, 2021

Sri Lanka's Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella announced that travellers entering Sri Lanka will no longer require to participate in a PCR test if they fulfill the following:

  • Are fully vaccinated with 2nd dose of the COVID 19 vaccine at least 2 weeks before departure
  • A negative PCR test report for the PCR test done not earlier than 72 hours before departure
  • This rule will be effective from midnight of 29th September 2021.

Source : Newswire

6. Visa Fees

The Sri Lankan visa costs approximately 40 to 60 USD and varies according to the type of visa you choose. Please note that the visa fee is non-transferable and non-refundable.

7. Extend Your Stay

A traveler who wishes to stay in Sri Lanka for more than 30 days may request for an extension. In the first instance, the Short Visit visa can be extended for up to 90 days from the date of entry, and in the second instance, for another 90 days.

8. Sample ETA Visa & Entry Stamps

procedure to visit Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka visa procedure sri lanka tourist Sample visa

Frequently Asked Questions

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