International tourists guidance during the coronavirus pandemic.


General information for visiting Sri Lanka.

1. Lankan airports been reopened for international travellers from rom 21st January 2021.
2. There is no mandatory minimum stay period or 14-day quarantine period. But all tourists must stay at only Level 1 SLTDA registered and ‘Safe & Secure’ certified establishments for the first 14 days of their stay. (Please find the attached list of “Level 1 SLTDA registered hotels)
3. All visas must be applied online through the Immigration ETA portal ( ). Before you apply for your visa, you need to have a confirmed hotel booking, pre-purchased PCR tests and a mandatory COVID-19 Insurance Cover, paid for through your ‘Safe & Secure’ Level 1 hotel when making your booking. The hotel will issue a reference number which you need to include in your visa form under the section ‘contact details’. There you will be asked for ‘address in Sri Lanka’ under which you need to indicate your hotel name, address and the reference number issued.
4. You will need to pay USD 12, for a COVID-19 Insurance Cover, for a period of 1-month cover of USD 50,000 offered by People’s Insurance PLC and it is a mandatory requirement when
5. applying for your visa.
6. People from all countries are welcome unless otherwise specified.
7. A completed Health Declaration Form (HDF) should also be submitted on arrival at the airport health counters and these HDFs will be given prior to boarding, on-board the flight or upon arrival. It can also be downloaded from .
8. Currently no exceptions would be made for vaccinations taken; all safety protocols should be adhered to regardless.
9. All travellers need to pre-purchase PCR tests depending on the length of their stay. This is a mandatory requirement for your visa process as well. If a traveller stays for 4 nights/5 days or
10. less, 1 PCR test, must be paid for. If the stay is more than 5 days yet less than 13 nights/14 days, 2 PCR tests must be paid for. If the stay is 14 days or more, 3 PCR tests must be paid for. Children under 12 years of age are exempted from PCR testing. Each PCR test is priced at USD 40.
11. PCR test will be arranged by your Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure’ certified hotel. The test will be performed by a private sector laboratory approved by the Ministry of Health.
12. You have to stay your first night near the arriving airport (Mattala or Negombo). You are not allowed to leave your first hotel until your PCR test results comes. We recommend you to stay 2 nights. l. Are you aware of, if someone is tested positive for COVID-19 with or without symptoms, will not be able to continue the tour as planned & may not be able to travel back home as planned?
13. If someone is tested positive for COVID-19 with symptoms, Your Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure’ certified hotel in consultation with the hotel doctor/local health authorities, will admit you to a private hospital approved by the Ministry of Health; Your COVID-19 Insurance Cover will reimburse hospital charges including the ambulance transfer fees up to USD 50,000 for a month.
14. Non-symptomatic COVID-19 positive persons will be quarantined in an isolated area in the same hotel, under strict supervision of the hotel doctor and local health authorities. In case there is a need to transfer them to a private hospital at any stage, the COVID-19 Insurance Cover will reimburse hospital charges including the ambulance transfer fees up to USD 50,000 for a month.
15. Close contacts and exposed guests in case someone is tested positive for COVID-19 – They will be kept under quarantine in an isolated area in the same hotel, under the strict supervision and administration of the hotel doctor and local health authorities. However, based on the decision of the hotel doctor/local health authorities, if they are sent to a quarantine hotel/center or a pre-arranged private hospital, the COVID-19 Insurance Cover will reimburse relevant charges including the ambulance transfer of up to USD 50,000 for a month.
16. sick/an illness other than COVID-19 – The medical officer at your hotel A will decide what to do accordingly and the cost of the treatment/s should be covered via the patient’s own personal medical insurance. This will NOT be covered by the COVID-19 insurance cover.
17. Daily PCR testing capacity for tourists in Sri Lanka is 2,500 tests per day as at A 13th January 2021, but this will be increased to 3,300 per day in the coming weeks.
18. Children under 12 years of age, visiting Sri Lanka under the tourism route will be exempted from PCR testing. However, if the child is indicated to be symptomatic or identified as a first contact of a known patient, they will be required to undergo a PCR test.
19. You cannot buy an airline ticket to Sri Lanka online. Instead you need to contact the airline local sales office or their call centre to facilitate bookings. Booking also can be done through your travel agent, who in turn needs to contact the airline local sales office or call centre as the airline will arrange confirmation of the booking.
20. The airlines that currently operate to Sri Lanka are –
21. Any outstation agent (i.e. a country outside of Sri Lanka) trying to sell a seat into Sri Lanka/CMB, cannot see the flight and its inventory on systems because the “free sale” method has not been released into the system yet due to passenger restrictions imposed by the NOTAM (Notices to Airmen) issued by Aviation Authorities. The NOTAM restrictions for travel are still in place for passengers who are NOT tourists. Hence tourists are required to book via an airline call canter agent who has been briefed on criteria for ticketing for international tourists.
22. ‘Safe & Secure’ Certified hotels – These are hotels or accommodation providers who comply with the COVID-19 Health Protocols and the Tourism Operational Guidelines. The hotels have been subjected to an audit by an independent firm and will be continually assessed. The ‘Safe & Secure’ certificate is issued with a QR code unique to each certified hotel. By scanning the QR code using a smartphone, visitors can not only check the key information of the certified hotel but also immediately report to Sri Lanka Tourism of any violations related to the guideline procedures with photo evidence. Sri Lanka Tourism believes this certification will serve as a mark of trust, safety and assurance to all international guests. Hotels with the certification are encouraged to display the certificate.
23. Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure’ certified hotel – From all the ‘Safe & Secure’ certified hotels, these are the
24. accommodation service providers who will provide accommodation services exclusively for international tourists during the first 14 days (13 nights) of their stay. The level 1 hotels cannot accept bookings from locals and also are not allowed to hold any events or banquet functions for locals.
25. In the first 14 days (13 nights) of your stay, you can change hotels provided they are ‘Safe & Secure’ certified level 1 hotels; After 14 days (13 nights),you can move to any hotel despite of the fact that they are Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure’ certified or not.
26. Tourists can visit up to 17 approved tourist sites under the safety of a bio bubble.
27. All the tourists & tour groups must book their tour packages online with, SLTDA registered travel agency like Off To Lanka Tours before the arrival.
28. Your hotels have to be organized by us and we have to share your accommodation and tour details with the SLTDA.
29. Although no restrictive quarantine is required, tourists will be requested to cooperate with minimum movements inside the first hotel of stay until the on-arrival PCR test result is released. (On arrival PCR test will be conducted at your first hotel of stay).
30. If the first PCR test is negative, all facilities of the hotel will be available to the guests.
31. Tourists are not permitted to move outside the hotel for a period of up to 14 days, except for approved tourist sites by the COVID task force in consultation with the Ministry of Health under a bio security bubble. (Provided on arrival PCR test result is negative |Please find the attached list of approved tourist sites) .
32. Currently no exception would be made for vaccinations taken and safety protocols should be
33. adhered by all tourists.

Visa procedure

1. The “Visa Free” status and the issuance of “On Arrival” visas are suspended until further notice.
2. All tourists entering Sri Lanka are required to obtain online tourist visas before arrival and Sri Lanka tourism mobile app is incorporated into the online visa application form; Sri Lanka tourism mobile app is made available on both the Play store and the Appstore.
3. The standard online tourist visa fee will be applicable and visas will be issued for 3 months.

The following are mandatory for processing online tourist visa.

1. COVID-19 insurance policy purchased through Sri Lanka tourism mobile app at a premium of USD
2. 12 (covering USD 50,000 for a period of 1 month and can extend upto 90 days with an additional payment).
3. All tourists will have to obtain a travel insurance with health and hospitalization coverage for the
4. entire duration of stay to cover standard health risks other than COVID-19.
5. A valid return air ticket.
6. Payment for PCR tests (USD 40 per test) depending on the number of days of stay.
7. Pre confirmed hotel bookings at one or more Level 1 SLTDA registered and ‘Safe & Secure’ certified Level – 1, accommodation establishments for the first 14 days of stay.

Airline requirement.

1. Any Airline operating flights to Sri Lanka will check tourists for valid visas and negative PCR test report taken 96 hours before departure for allowing them to board the flight.
2. All flights operating to Sri Lanka are required to consult the Civil Aviation Authority on the health
3. protocols that need to be adhered to.

Country health authority requirements.

1. A Negative PCR report issued by an accredited laboratory within 96 hours prior to boarding the flight to Sri Lanka.
2. All tourists should undergo a PCR test on arrival at the first hotel of stay and between 5-7 days after arrival in Sri Lanka; If the stay is beyond 7 days, the traveller is required to undergo a 3rd PCR test if deemed necessary by the Medical Officer of Health.
3. A COVID-19 insurance cover purchased through the Sri Lanka tourism mobile app to cover USD 50,000 for a minimum period of 1 month.

Airport arrival

1. Use only traditional Sri Lankan greeting “Ayubowan” at all times instead of handshaking, hugging or kissing.
2. Face masks worn during the flight should be disposed of and new face masks should be worn at the first counter of the arrival, before entering the airport.
3. Washing hands with soap and disinfecting the footwear is mandatory for all tourists before entering the airport.
4. Tourists/airport staff should maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meter between two people at all times.
5. All arriving passengers and airline crew members should undergo temperature screening through thermal scanners; if anyone records a temperature of 37.4oC (99.3oF) or above, he/she should be immediately referred to the airport health office of Quarantine Unit for further examination and necessary action.
6. The tourists, crew members and all airport staff should wear face masks at all times; surgical face masks should be changed every 4 to 6 hours.
7. Disinfecting procedures to be in place for all arrivals, luggage and travel documents.

Health/immigration counters.

1. A Health Declaration Form (HDF) will be given prior to boarding, on-board the flight or upon
arrival; Every arriving passenger should submit a completed Health Declaration Form (HDF) of
Sri Lanka to health counters at the airport.
2. A glass/transparent plastic shield (sneeze guard) should be placed in the immigration counters to separate staff and visitors. Immigration officers should check all mandatory documents of visitors including PCR report, travel/COVID insurance, travel/stay details, health counter clearance note and tourists’ personal details.
3. All tourists entering Sri Lanka should be electronically registered through the immigration counters in a centralized database with back end dashboard.

Luggage collection

1. All luggage should be disinfected prior to being placed on the conveyor belt and should maintain an appropriate gap to facilitate the safe social distancing of passengers when collecting.
2. Ensure 1.5-meter safe distance is maintained at the collection point and at all times of communication. Keep 70% alcohol rub/hand sanitizer to use frequently when collecting/handling luggage and at all times inside the airport.
3. The trolleys should be disinfected after each use and it is recommended to keep disinfected
trolleys and used trolleys separately with clear notices for users.

Airport transfers

1. The designated safe and secure certified OFF TO LANKA TOURS driver guide will page your name in the arrival lobby to pick you up. He will take you to the designated Level 1 safe and secure certified hotels of stay by a well sanitized vehicle, between seated passengers; this condition may be relaxed, if one family is traveling together.
2. Tourists should sanitize hands and disinfectant footwear prior to boarding a vehicle and wearing of face masks is compulsory during the journey.
3. The vehicle driver/pick up personnel should wear face masks and maintain a safe physical distance meter at all times, including greeting and handling of luggage.

Transport & vehicles.

The tourists should disinfectant their footwear prior to boarding the vehicle and should wear face masks at all times inside the vehicle – Our staff will help you.

Other important information.

1. Make sure the safe distance of 1.5 meter is maintained at all times.
2. Payments for OFF TO LANKA TOURS and all the other payments in Sri Lanka – You are encouraged to do on-line transactions and credit/debit card payments in order to minimize cash handling.
3. Group photographs are only allowed if the recommended physical distance can be maintained.
4. The tour vehicle will not be stopped at any uncertified or unapproved shops, restaurants, sites, shopping malls, etc.
5. Maintain the safe physical distancing between seated passengers; this requirement may be relaxed, if one family is travelling together.
6. Use of public transport is not allowed for the first 14 days of stay and should not be encouraged to guests, even after the initial 14-day period is over.