Sri Lanka relaxes quarantine rules for vaccinated arrivals
ECONOMYNEXT – Arrivals to Sri Lanka who have received both doses of any COVID-19 vaccine now have to spend only one day in quarantine until PCR tests are cleared, the health ministry said.
Announcing an amendment to existing quarantine regulations for visitors and returnees to Sri Lanka, the ministry said vaccinated Sri Lankans, dual citizenship holders and foreigners can come to the country two weeks after immunisation.
Travelers are required to undergo PCR tests on the first and seventh day of their visit to the isalnd.
On-arrivals are required to produce an original vaccination certificate and a verified copy translated into English if it is not in English to the airport health officer.
Only government authorities can transport them to their designated hotels or quarantine facilities and a PCR test must be conducted from an approved testing lab within 24-hours upon arrival.
Once a negative PCR test report is declared, travelers can be released from the quarantine centres or hotels by obtaining a discharge document from the quarantine authority at the hotel or centre.
The discharge document must contain the date of the PCR sample collection and test result.
They are also allowed to book their own transport but must adhere to COVID-19 preventive measure.
On arrival at their homes, medical officers of health (MOH) must be informed promptly.
What about non-vaccinated or passengers who have not completed the two-week vaccination period?
PCR tests must be done within 24-hours of arrival and on the seventh day.
If it is hotel quarantine, after two negative PCR tests they can be discharged from hotel on the seventh day.
Passengers undergoing center-based quarantine must take a PCR test on the first and the tenth day. They can use private transport, but the driver must be informed and COVID-19 protocols must be followed. Once they arrive at their homes it is mandatory to complete the remainder of the14-day quarantine.
If at least one PCR test is positive, the relevant MOH must be informed.
What about tourists who have got the jab?
Tourists who have received the vaccine can arrive two weeks after the second jab and must follow the same rules and produce the necessary documents. However, they must be quarantined in a certified hotel for tourists. Hotel management must take the responsibility to inform MOHs and provide photocopies of PCR test reports on the day of arrival. Hotel management too should keep a copy of the tourists’ vaccination certificates.
If the first day’s PCR test is negative, tourists should stay in the same hotel until the completion of the seventh day but can visit approved sites within the bio-bubble. After second PCR, they can leave their hotels and make arrangements with their travel agents.
What about tourists who have not been immunised or have not completed the two-weeks period after the jab or taken the necessary doses?
They must be in quarantine in a certified hotel. If the tourist departs before 14-days, a second PCR must be carried out depending on the date of departure. This PCR result must be negative.
Example: if the tourist departs on the eighth day, the second PCR must be done on the sixth or seventh day.
If the tourist stays for less than 96-hours, an exit PCR is not necessary and is needed only if the airline or the destination country requires it. If the tourists stay more than 14-days, the second PCR must be done on the 11th to 14th day.
They must not change hotels until 14 days are completed. If they’re staying longer than 14-days, tourists can be released after 14 days with a negative PCR report.
Once the results are available and negative, tourists can visit the approved site in the bio-bubble.
Reported by Mahadiya Hamza (COLOMBO/Mar18/2021)