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Sri Lanka now open to fully vaccinated travellers with quarantine-free entry – Lanka Business Online

As Sri Lanka paves the
way to restart tourism, fully vaccinated international travellers who have
received the second dose of the vaccine 14 days prior to arrival will now be
allowed to enter the country without undergoing quarantine.

While several
restrictions remain for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors, those
who have been ‘double-jabbed’ will have travel restrictions eased, this
includes entry into the island without a period of quarantine other than the 24
hours required to stay in a Safe and Secure Level 1 Hotel until the on-arrival
PCR test results are available. Once the ‘Day One’ PCR test report is negative,
travellers will be able to leave the Level 1 Hotel and enjoy their holiday,
they will be required to undergo a PCR test once again on the seventh day during
their travels at a Ministry of Health approved laboratory.

In addition, travellers
will require to produce a negative PCR test report done 72-hours prior to
boarding the flight as per standard procedure, obtain an Electronic Travel
Authorization (ETA) via the Sri Lanka Tourism website https://www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/  and purchase a
mandatory visitor Covid Insurance coverage costing USD 12 covering a period of
30 days and a USD 50,000 cover.

All other visitors
travelling as a tourist who are either partially vaccinated or not vaccinated
will have to follow standard procedure of quarantining in a Safe and Secure L1
Hotel up to 14 days; depending on the vaccination status and the duration of
stay. All relevant details on procedure to follow is available on the Sri Lanka
Tourism website. Travel restrictions will however still apply to certain
countries, travellers with a travel history (including transit) in the past 14
days to India, Vietnam, South America, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique,
Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia will not be permitted to
disembark in Sri Lanka until further notice.

Discussing the
long-awaited re-opening, Ms. Kimarli Fernando – Chairperson, SL Tourism, spoke
optimistically, “Under current
regulations all visitors to the island, whether foreign travellers or citizens,
have been subject to stringent regulations. These measures have helped curb the
spread of the pandemic while preventing new variants from entering the island. With
the success of the National vaccination rollout programme, we are ready to
commence operations as usual for fully -vaccinated arrivals and the tourism
industry is well prepared to welcome our international travellers while ensuring
the safety and security of our communities”.

Travellers who have
received the recommended dose of Covid-19 vaccines must carry their original
vaccine certificate card. If their certification is in any language, other than
English, an authorized translation of their vaccine certificate must be
produced along with the original certificate.

For travellers to be
considered fully vaccinated and be eligible for quarantine-free entry, they
must have received both doses of the vaccine at least two weeks prior to
arrival. Non-vaccinated children under eighteen are able to undergo an on
arrival PCR test along with their parents and upon obtaining a negative test
result will be permitted to travel within the Island without quarantine when
accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. Children under two will
not be subject to a PCR test unless their parent or guardian test positive for
Covid-19.  

While travel
restrictions have been eased for fully vaccinated arrivals, Government
officials advise caution and encourage all visitors to abide by the extensive
health and safety measures, put in place to ensure the public’s wellbeing.
Apart from the eased restrictions, fully vaccinated travelers will enjoy
exclusive access and incentives throughout the island. This includes upgraded
facilities and amenities, a wide choice of accommodation, uncrowded
attractions, and the experience of having this treasure trove; Sri Lanka, almost
all to oneself.

“Sri Lanka Tourism has been preparing for this opening
for quite a while now and we are ready to welcome travellers back. Looking at
our vaccination statistic, when compared to some of our regional tourism
rivals, Sri Lanka’s numbers are a strong indicator that we are ready to bounce
back.

Thailand has had 16.2% of its population with at least
one dose of vaccine administered while Sri Lanka has 19.8% of its population
administered with at least one dose of vaccine. There is cause for optimism and
we are confident about what the future holds.

In preparation for the forecasted influx of tourists we
have some strategic initiatives currently being implemented around the island and
with safety and security being our number one priority for both our communities
and our visitors we hope to have all our tourism workforce vaccinated by
October. Vaccination drives for the industry are currently underway with a
vaccination drive for hospitality employees in the Hambanthota district taking
place recently
” remarked Ms. Kimarli
Fernando.

The
opening of Sri Lanka to the world arrives on the heels of a concentrated and
systematic vaccination drive carried out by the Sri Lankan government. The
Ministry of Health has worked closely with officials around the island and the
private sector to ensure rigorous testing and vaccination continues. Currently,
efforts are underway to exceed the 70% vaccinated standard set by global
authorities. This extraordinary task has immunized a majority of Sri Lankans
and positions the island as one of the safest places in the world.




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