Putting the pandemic behind us: a helpful travel guide to Sri Lanka

by | Mar 5, 2021

With the hope that the pandemic is fading away at a very slow pace, people’s desire to travel is beginning to get stronger than ever. However, most will be prioritizing their world travel destinations with health and safety in mind, preferring to go to places with fewer people and lesser health risks.

We, at Blue Lanka Tours understand that as many countries open up their borders for foreign nationals, travel to Sri Lanka will not return to normalcy immediately. New safety and precautionary standards will be expected from tour guides, chauffeurs, hotels, and tourist attractions.

While the Sri Lankan government is working hard to safeguard tourists, Blue Lanka Tours is also taking all the necessary safety measures to ensure the health and safety of our clients during their stay in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is one of the most preferred travel destinations for Indians in particular because of its close geographical proximity, religious significance and stunning natural beauty. When planning to visit Sri Lanka, you must be aware of certain pandemic related facts, conditions, and requirements. Read on ahead for an informative post covid travel guide to Sri Lanka.

In a gist

After international borders were closed in Sri Lanka in mid-March 2020, international flights have now resumed to the country since January 2021. Those with a negative covid-19 report are allowed to board any flight to Sri Lanka. You will be tested upon arrival in Sri Lanka as well, and if residing in the country for over 10 days, you will have to undergo another PCR test after 4-5 days.

Accommodation for foreign nationals is only allowed at government approved 5-star hotels that form a travel bubble. Tourists have access to national parks, museums, archaeological tourist sites, wellness programs and watersport adventures. Mask usage is mandatory for locals and foreigners in all public areas. From June 2021, tourists will be able to use public transport such as buses and trains.

In detail

Best Time to Visit

Sri Lanka experiences two monsoon seasons – northeast and southwest. So, the best time to visit really depends on which coastal area you prefer to enjoy most time on. December to April is the peak season to experience the south and west coasts while the east coast of Sri Lanka is at its best from May to October. However, the best thing about Sri Lankan tropical weather is that you are sure to enjoy fruitful weather with a few hours of sunshine even if you happen to visit during the monsoons.

How to Reach

Foreigners travelling to Sri Lanka are required to obtain a health certificate 72 hours before boarding the flight. Several international airlines such as Sri Lankan, Emirates, Qatar, Turkish, Etihad, FlyDubai, Jazeera, SalamAir and more have begun bringing in tourists to Sri Lanka in an air bubble concept.

Places to Visit in Sri Lanka during Covid

All popular national parks including those in Yala, Wilpattu, Minneriya, Udawalawe, Pigeon Island, Kaudulla and Horton Plains are accessible to tourists. Prominent temples, monuments, museums and archaeological sites are also open for sightseeing. Large public and religious gatherings however are restricted by the government of Sri Lanka in lieu of the safety of local community as well as the foreigners.

Things To Do In Sri Lanka During Covid

While certain guidelines and restrictions have been put in place by the government and health authorities with regard to Sri Lanka tourism during Covid times, visitors are able to enjoy the lush greenery, adventurous watersports for the daring minds, and cultural attractions for history lovers. Sri Lanka tourism is also promoting wellness programs such as Ayurveda for a relaxed mind, body and soul.

All visitors are requested to follow the health and safety guidelines specified by the government in order to enjoy an uninterrupted vacation.


With the news of welcoming foreigners back to the country, the hospitality and leisure industry is thrilled and are taking every measure possible, while incorporating unique social distancing ideas to ensure guests enjoy their experience in Sri Lanka.

  • Regular room sanitizing with eco-friendly agents.
  • Introduction of a safety manager to maintain safety of hotel guests.
  • If a guest is Covid positive, the safety manager will take the necessary measures for 14-day isolation.
  • Restricted movement within the hotel property.
  • Certain areas can be exclusively accessed only by the guests who have reserved that package.
  • A hotline number for any unexpected emergency assistance.


Only properties that are certified as ‘safe’ by the government are allowed to operate with limited occupancy. These restaurants ensure regular sanitization of doors, furniture, and other areas that are regularly touched. They also promote social distancing and encourage guests to go for local drinks that boost immunity. Guests are not allowed to enter without wearing face masks and upon entrance, the staff will check the temperature of each guest.

What to Pack

Face masks are on the top of any ‘what to pack’ list across the world today! Along with that, don’t forget your prescribed medicine and other allergy medicines, a first-aid kit, extra masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants. When in Sri Lanka, light and breathable clothes are advised. Also pack your swimwear, sunglasses, slippers and sunscreen. Mosquito repellents are essential for national park visits.

Travel Checklist

  • Make advanced bookings for flights and hotels.
  • Make sure your hotel is approved by the ministry of tourism.
  • You are required to obtain medical insurance.
  • Make sure you fulfill all the visa criteria and apply for your visa online.
  • Complete the online health declaration form with details about your visit.
  • Get your PCR test done and keep the hardcopy report with you.
  • Download the MyHealth (Sri Lanka) application on your smartphone.
  • Please visit www.sltda.gov.lk for more information.