Sri Lanka Welcomes Tourists From August 1, 2020 With $100 Visa Fee & FOUR Covid-19 Tests

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Sri Lanka released over the weekend the plan how it will open up the country for tourists from August 1, 2020, and it doesn’t look right.

You now need to pay $100 for a visa that used to be free to many nationals, tested before boarding (within 72 hours), and on arrival plus when you have stayed 5 and 10 nights in the country.

You can access the Sri Lankan tourism website here.

Here are slides that Sri Lankan Hoteliers have prepared:

Here are the instructions that Sri Lankan tourism has released:

Who can visit?

All nationalities are welcome and all types of travellers whether groups, families, individuals.

Which airports will operate?

Bandaranaike International Airport [BIA], Colombo Ratmalana Airport [RMA] and Mattala Rajapaksa Hambantota Airport [MRIA] will be operating for tourist arrivals from Aug 1st 2020

What are the visa procedures?

All travelers will require a valid visa; this will be issued for 30 days and extendable for up to 6 months after arrival. Online visa at http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/

Further relaxation for long stay guests is currently under consideration, enabling tourist to be granted five-year multiple entry visas with maximum 6 months stay.

  • Visa fee US$100
  • Information required for visa application
  • Booking details at Certified Accommodation
  • Itinerary in Sri Lanka
  • Return ticket
  • Proof of medical insurance

Where can I stay and is there a minimum duration?

A minimum 5-night stay in Sri Lanka is required.

Independent professional audits will be done to certify accommodation providers who will be listed on the Sri Lanka tourism website. Details of bookings made with Certified Accommodation providers are required for the visa application

Pre departure Covid-19 PCR testing

A negative PCR test is required prior to boarding your flight and on arrival in Sri Lanka. The test should be no older than 72 hours prior to boarding.

On arrival in Sri Lanka

The airport will have high intensity sanitation measures in place for all areas and staff.

There is no quarantine on arrival unless symptoms are detected.

PCR test would be done on arrival at the airport. No charge.

Currently it takes 24 hours to receive the test results. We are making changes to have results within 4-6 hours by August. In the event it is required to wait 24 hours for test results; you will be able to select a hotel for a one-night stay from Certified 4 or 5-star hotels in Colombo or Negombo until the test results are received.

A further test will be done 4-5 days after arrival by a mobile unit in coordination with your Certified Accommodation provider.

Travelers staying for more than 10 days will be required to take a third test during their stay. While this may be inconvenient it is essential to safeguard everybody and provide peace of mind.

In case of a positive PCR result, quarantine in a designated hotel or hospitalisation will take place depending on the details of the case. Quarantine would usually be 14 to 21 days if symptoms are detected.

Moving around Sri Lanka

The airport will have high intensity sanitation measures in place for all areas and staff.

To ensure your safety, please arrange transportation prior to your arrival, with your Certified Accommodation provider or travel agent. Public transport should not be used.

All tourist sites will be open from the 1st August onwards with safety protocols and measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of our travelers.

There will be no travel restrictions between districts for tourists.

What is Sri Lanka’s status with COVID-19?

Being an island, and thanks to the proactive measures taken, Sri Lanka has been able to manage the spread of the virus. No active community clusters have been detected in the last 30 days within the country.

Conclusion

I have been to Sri Lanka a few times due to traveling to/from the Maldives, around the world and other premium tickets (the latter used to be reasonably priced out of the country during the civil war with Tamil Tigers).

It is tough to see many put up with all this testing required and another $100 for a visa that used to be free unless you REALLY want to visit the country or are there for business purposes.

These requirements won’t help the country filling up the newly built hotels and those that are coming up in the city center, including Ritz-Carlton.

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