Entry to Sri Lanka (& Corona) – current info & tips
Is it possible to enter Sri Lanka without quarantine? What kind of coronatests do I need? Do I need a visa? I also asked myself all these questions before I traveled to Sri Lanka in February/March 2022. Since some questions reached me about this, I wrote down here how the entry to Sri Lanka currently works, which documents you need and what you should know in advance.
All information is based on my personal travel experience in February/March 2022. The situation on the ground can change quickly, so always check the current entry and corona regulations again carefully!
Entry to Sri Lanka (in times of Corona)
For entry into Sri Lanka, fully vaccinated persons no longer need a negative PCR or antigen rapid test before departure since March 1, 2022. Also, after arrival in Sri Lanka, fully vaccinated travelers do not require another Corona test. Travelers under 12 years of age also do not require testing.
Is it possible to enter the country quarantine-free?
Yes. However, unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated travelers are initially only allowed to move within a so-called “tourism bio-bubble” in the country. This means that for the first 7 days after arrival, they are only allowed to stay in very specific accommodations and, for example, only visit certain sights. (The list is quite large, though, so you can get around just fine that way for the first few days).
Unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated people also need a booking in one of the ‘Safe & Secure Certified’ hotels upon entry, as well as a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 72h at the time of entry, or a rapid antigen test (max. 48h). After entry (day 1) an on-arrival PCR test is required (e.g. at Colombo Airport) as well as another one on day 7.
The current and exact regulations for fully vaccinated, recovered and unvaccinated people can be downloaded from the official website of Sri Lanka Tourism.
These are the documents you need to enter the country:
Apart from your passport and vaccination certificate, you will also need the following documents when entering the country:
You should apply for the electronic visa in advance online at: eta.gov.lk. Cost: 35 USD, payable by credit card. If for some reason this does not work out, you can also get the visa “upon arrival” at the airport for a fee of 40 USD (more info here).
In advance, all travelers must take out a mandatory, special Covid insurance. It costs $12 USD and covers costs of $75,000 USD for any treatments and quarantine in the event you contract covid in Sri Lanka. Not a bad deal for $12, right? You can purchase the insurance here.
Also, regardless, I generally recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance that includes the Corona event and also covers you in the event of trip cancellation, i.e., if it doesn’t catch you before you travel, but catches you on the ground and you can’t make connecting reservations or your return flight. (I have mine with ADAC, for example, but there are other providers as well).
Health Declaration Form
must fill out a Health Declaration Form in advance. In the confirmation you get a QR code, which is then scanned when entering Sri Lanka. By the way, this did not work for us – we never received the confirmations, although we had filled it out and saved it several times. In that case, you can also fill out the form manually in the arrival hall. (For the airline possibly screenshot as proof that you have filled it out anyway – they usually want to see it at check-in).
Additional requirements by the airline?
Basically, the airlines check at the check-in of each passenger, whether this:r has all the documents required for entry in the respective destination country. And this can take time! We were at the airport in Frankfurt 3 hours before departure and just made it to the gate for departure – even though there was not much going on at the airport that day.
In addition, you should clarify in each individual case whether the airline wants additional documents (e.g. current Corona tests) from you. Qatar and Sri Lankan, for example, did not want to see anything from us, only the entry documents for Sri Lanka including passport and vaccination certificate.
Return from Sri Lanka to Germany
Here, too, the airlines check at check-in whether you have all the documents required for entry into the destination country (in this case: Germany). Interestingly, being fully vaccinated, we needed… nothing
. (Except our vaccination certificate). Not even a current coronatest. I honestly felt kind of weird to be able to go to the airport and board a plane so completely without a test, but it actually was. However, check this again carefully in each individual case, and clarify with the respective airline whether it has additional requirements. The current entry requirements for Germany can be found on the website of the German Foreign Office and on the website of the German Embassy in Colombo.
If you need a Corona test for the return journey: PCR as well as antigen rapid tests can be done at different places in Sri Lanka, e.g. in hospitals, and, if I am informed correctly, also at Colombo Airport. Also some accommodations can organize PCR tests for their guests on site, especially in the tourist places at the coast. Best to just always ask at your accommodation, they can best tell you where to go for a test.
Please always check – links to current regulations:
The tips & info in this article are currently up to date as of March 25, 2022. Since regulations can change quickly, especially during pandemic times – double check! Please always check the latest regulations here:
Entry information Sri Lanka – German Foreign Office
Official tourism website of Sri Lanka with all info and links
Overview with links and documents of the Embassy Sri Lanka
German Embassy Colombo
Info of the German Embassy Colombo for the return trip to Germany
Entry to Germany – German Foreign Office
I hope the info and my tips help you, and wish you a great trip!
Click here for my Sri Lanka travel report with route and tips for 2-3 weeks.
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