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Sri Lanka plans to allow tourists from August, no mandatory quarantine

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to allow tourists to visit the island without a mandatory two week quarantine from August 01, but periodic testing during their stay, information released by the state tourism authority showed.

Tourists could enter from Katunayake, Ratmalana or Mattala airports from August 01.

Tourists will be asked to take a pre-departure test at least 72 hours before departure.

They will be tested on arrival.

“There is no quarantine on arrival unless symptoms are detected,” an information sheet released by the tourism authority said.

“A PCR test would be done on arrival at the airport.”

There will be no charge for the test, but the visa fee will be 100 dollars for 30 days. It will be extendible for six months. A longer-term visa was also under consideration.

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

“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.”

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A lone PCR of a person coming from a country with community transmission or an aircraft with other asymptomatic persons shows that he or she does not have a sufficient viral load to trigger a positive result in a PCR test on that day, and not necessarily that the person will not develop the disease a day or two later.

A person coming into contact with a Coronavirus patient usually develops the disease (but may not show symptoms) within a 2-14 day incubation period, but some develop the disease up to three weeks or later.

“In case of a positive PCR result, quarantine in a designated hotel or hospitalisation will take place depending on the details of the case,” the document said.

“Quarantine would usually be 14 to 21 days if symptoms are detected.”

The information sheet did not mention whether local contacts of a tourist with a positive test result would be tracked and quarantined and also tested multiple times.

Tourists will however be allowed to stay at certified providers.

In Vietnam, the country that is probably the most successful in containing the virus, returnees and foreign experts required by the government or companies are quarantined for two weeks, tested at least three times in quarantine, and twice more in a two week self-quarantine before being allowed to move around.

Vietnam also extended visas of all tourists in the country who arrived before March 01 and was unable to go, until June 30 free of charge.

Sri Lanka has also made strong progress in containing the spread of Coronavirus and gaps in testing were mostly covered by Curfews.

Testing has since been expanded to cover those in quarantine, close contacts and also some community testing of high risk groups.

Sri Lanka Tourism ready to welcome tourists from 1stAug2020

Sri Lanka is readying to welcome travelers from across the world with safety guidelines and precautionary measures.

FAQ

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 1 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.

A 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

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.

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