Comprehensive guideline: Updated Sri Lanka travel requirements from August 2020

by | Jul 7, 2020

Sri Lanka is ready to welcome tourists from 1st August 2020! All nationalities and all types of travelers – families, groups, and individuals are welcome.

Thanks to proactive measures taken by the government of Sri Lanka, the country has been able to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus. There have been no active community clusters detected over the last one month.

Procedure of Entry to the country


  • A minimum 5-night stay in Sri Lanka is mandatory for all tourists.
  • Proof of a valid tour package booking from any registered travel agency is required.
  • Accommodation vouchers should only be from hotels that are certified as ‘Safe and Secure’ by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).
  • It is advisable to book the first night of your tour at an establishment close to the arrival airport for convenience until the PCR test results are released.
    • Bandaranaike International Airport: neighboring areas are Negombo, Seeduwa.
    • Ratmalana International Airport: any establishment in Colombo is appropriate.
    • Hambantota International Airport: any establishment in Hambantota is appropriate.

Currently, it takes 24 hours for the test results to be released. Changes are underway to have the results released within four to six hours by August.

  • As registered tour operators, we will share your accommodation details to the SLTDA through a data login process.

Visa Procedure

  • All tourists visiting Sri Lanka must require online visas before arrival. 
    • The ‘Visa Free’ and ‘On Arrival’ visa issuance is suspended for the time being.
  • The website for online visa application is as follows:
  • An online tourist visa fee of USD 100 per passport is applicable until further notice.
  • Documents needed for processing an online visa are as follows:
    • Valid travel insurance with health and hospitalization coverage throughout your stay in Sri Lanka
    • Valid return air ticket
    • Valid travel itinerary with accommodation vouchers at SLTDA certified establishments.
  • Currently, each tourist visa is valid for 30 days and is extendable for up to six months after arrival.
  • Relevant authorities are currently considering relaxed conditions of tourist visas to encourage multiple visits and long stays in Sri Lanka.

Airline Requirements

  • All airlines landing in Sri Lanka will check for negative PCR test reports and valid tourist visa before you are allowed to board the flight.

Sri Lanka Health Requirements

  • An accredited laboratory certified negative PCR test report issued 72 hours prior to landing in Sri Lanka.
  • A mandatory PCR test will be conducted on arrival at the airport.
  • A repeat PCR test is necessary 5-7 days after arrival, or if the guest develops respiratory symptoms (whichever comes first).
  • For longer holidays in Sri Lanka, tourists will have to undergo another PCR test between 10-12 days after arrival.
  • All PCR tests carried out on tourists in Sri Lanka will be done free of charge.
  • If a positive PCR test is reported, the person will be sent to a hospital or quarantine hotel at the rate of USD 100 per night.
  • Relevant accommodation establishments and/or tour operators in Sri Lanka are responsible for arranging the safe transportation of tourists within the country.

Airport Procedures


  • There is no mandatory quarantine on arrival in Sri Lanka, unless Covid-19 symptoms are detected.
  • Guests are informed to use only traditional Sri Lankan greeting “Ayubowan” at all times. No handshaking, hugging, and kissing is allowed.
  • Face masks worn throughout the flight should be disposed and new face masks should be worn upon entering the airport.
  • Disinfecting hands and footwear before entering the airport is mandatory for all tourists.
  • A minimum distance of 1.5 meters should be maintained between any two people at all times; be it tourists or airport staff.
  • Passengers and airline crew should undergo temperature screening through thermal scanners. A temperature of 37.4 Degrees Celsius or above should immediately refer to the Quarantine Unit for further examination.
  • Face masks should be worn at all times inside the airport. Every 4-6 hours, face masks should be changed. New ones can be purchased at the airport if needed.
  • In addition to passengers, all luggage and travel documents will be disinfected at the airport.

Health and Immigration Counters

  • Health counters are in place at the airports where every passenger should submit a complete Health Declaration Form. PHIs will examine these forms and the passengers and take necessary action for any tourists with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Immigration officers will check all mandatory documents, including PCR reports, travel insurance, travel details, health clearance notice, and personal details of tourists.
  • After the immigration procedure, tourists should report at the sample collection facility to undergo mandatory PCR testing.

Sri Lanka Tourism Counter

All tourists should visit this special counter and complete the following:

  • Register their personal information, tour operator details, accommodation, and transport details online.
  • Read about COVID-19 preventive measures, procedures, and emergency contact details in Sri Lanka.
  • Download and activate the mobile app for connectivity and traceability.

Collection of Luggage

  • All luggage will be disinfected prior to being placed on the conveyor belt.
  • An appropriate gap will be maintained on the belt to facilitate the social distancing of passengers during collection.
  • Ensure social distancing (minimum 1.5 meters) is maintained at all times of luggage collection and other communication.
  • It is advisable to have a hand sanitizer handy and keep using it frequently during luggage handling and other times inside the airport.
  • All trolleys will be disinfected after each use. Hence passengers are informed to keep used trolleys separately as per clear notices inside the airport.

Common Airport Facilities.

  • All washroom areas such as taps, washbasins, doorknobs, handles, seat cover flaps, switches, etc will be disinfected regularly.
  • Washrooms will be cleaned on an hourly basis, and more frequently during rush hours.
  • Hand sanitizers will be available with convenient access in all common areas of the airport.

Information and Travel Counters

  • These counters are available for you to obtain knowledge on basic safety measures to be followed during your tour in Sri Lanka.
  • Tourists are encouraged to conduct online transactions and card payments as much as possible so as to minimize cash handling. These counters will provide you with relevant information regarding the same.

Tourist Police

Tourist police will be put in place to ensure the following:

  • Tourists are wearing and carrying personal protection equipment at all times.
  • Tourists have detailed travel plans with accommodation and transport arrangements.
  • Maintain a record of passport numbers of tourists, along with driver and vehicle details that pick them up at the airport.

Travel Options for tourists in Sri Lanka

  • Private tour buses
  • Other hired vehicles from tour agencies
  • Public transport (trains, buses and tuk tuks) is not allowed for tourists until further notice

Transport Guidelines

  • Drivers, other support staff, and passengers should be wearing personal protection equipment at all times.
  • Temperature checks will be conducted whenever required.
  • All parts of the vehicle will be cleaned and disinfected regularly, most importantly before a new group of tourists enters the vehicle.
  • There should be safe distance between passengers on a bus.
  • There will be no stopovers at uncertified shops, restaurants, tourist sites, malls, etc.

Procedures at Tourist Attraction

All tourist attractions will be open from 1st August 2020 with strict safety protocols in place to make sure our travelers are safe and healthy.


  • After following the disinfecting routine and pre-check, tourists will be given a sticker or a QR code.
  • Hands and footwear will be disinfected before entering the premises.
  • Foot-operated taps are provided to wash hands with soap.
  • Doors will be opened only by staff members.
  • Fresh face masks will be provided to all tourists, and a foot-operated bin to throw away the used masks.

Food and Beverage

  • If there is no certified food and beverage outlet at the site, tourists will be informed to bring their own water and snacks.
  • An adequate number of foot-operated bins will be available to dispose of trash.