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Sri Lanka Officially Opens For International Tourism

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After multiple delays, Sri Lanka has reopened its borders for international tourism today. 

The entry rules into the country are very strict and tourists will be limited on where they can stay and go within the country for the first 14 days. 

“As we open our doors to the world once again, we have pulled out all the stops, ensuring that every precautionary measure has been set in place to make the island getaway as safe, secure, and serene as possible for the visitors,” Kimarli Fernando, the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, said in a statement

Here is everything travelers need to know about Sri Lanka reopening for tourism.

sri lanka railway

Requirements For Tourists Entering Sri Lanka

All tourists will need to follow the below entry requirements to visit Sri Lanka.

  • Evidence of a negative PCR Covid 19 test 72 hours before arrival
  • Be tested again upon arrival 
  • A third test will be given on day 7 
  • All travelers must apply for an online visa
  • Advance booking at one or more of 52 properties
  • Foreign tourists may not leave their hotel for the first 14 days with the exception of visiting 14 approved tourism sites.
  • Once the 14 days are complete tourist may interact with the community and move to any destination or lodging of their choice. 
sri lanka beach reopening for tourism

When Does Sri Lanka Reopen For Tourism?

Sri Lanka is now officially open for tourism as of January 21st, 2021 allowing 2500 tourists per day.

Which Countries Can Visit Sri Lanka?

Visitors from all countries and of all nationalities are welcome to visit Sri Lanka with the exception of the UK due to a flight ban caused by the new variant of Covid-19. 

sri lanka ocean reopening for tourism

Is there a mandatory quarantine period on arrival in Sri Lanka?

Yes travelers must stay within one of 52 properties for the first 14 days of their trip and may only visit 14 designated attractions during this time. 

Have Flights Resumed to Sri Lanka?

International flights will be arriving into 2 airports; The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and The Mattala International Airport (MRIA)

Colombo sri lanka

Where Are The Hotels Located For The First 14 Days?

All of the hotels designated for travelers to stay at for the first 14 days are located outside Colombo, and include properties run by hospitality brands such as Anantara, Cinnamon, Heritance, Jetwing, and Taj.

sri lanka reopen for tourism

Are There Additional Requirements To Apply For The Electronic Travel Authorization?

On top of the Covid-19 entry requirements, all travelers must be able to provide proof of a round trip plane ticked and sufficient funds to cover expenses while in Sri Lanka. 

sri lanka attraction

Can I Use The Hotel Amenities During The First 14 Days?

Travelers will not be confined to their room and are free to roam their resort and use the facilities including pools and gyms. 

Do Vaccinated Travelers Get To Skip Testing and Hotel Quarantine?

No preferential treatment will be given to travelers who have been vaccinated. All travelers including those who have been vaccinated must follow the Covid testing rules and stay at designated hotels for the first 14 days. 

sri lanka Colombo

Are There Additional Costs For Testing?

Travelers will be responsible for all costs associated with testing. Each test will be USD $40.00 and mandatory travel insurance will be $12.00 which will provide one month of coverage. 

Health Declaration Form

All travelers will be required to complete a health declaration form upon arrival that states they are not suffering from symptoms of Covid-19. Temperature upon arrival will also be recorded.

sri lanka fishermen

How Do Travelers Apply To Visit Sri Lanka?

All travelers must fill out the online Electronic Travel Authorization. Once approved, travelers are limited to 30 days but may extended for up to six months without leaving the country. 

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories

Wanda Cruz

Wednesday 17th of March 2021

Hi,I have a question. I'm going to Srilanka to visit my boyfriend can I do the quarantine in his house or do I have stay in hotel for the first 14 days?


Friday 22nd of January 2021

I was excited to go and finally meet up with my gf, who I haven't seen in one year almost (from Philippines). I bought tix, then discovered how expensive the hotels on the list are. And I tried to email some, and none of them replied. It felt risky to book 14 nights plus all the PCR tests for both of us, considering what if flight cancels?? So I was delaying the hotel booking for a day or two, then I got an email from Sri Lankan airlines cancelling my flight from Singapore (a $1200 USD RT Ticket!!). The next day, Air Asia emailed me cancelling my gf's ticket from KL to Sri Lanka. So now I gotta start over, if I decide to try again, and Im left with airline credits after spending a few thousand. This sucks. I don't know what to do. Hotels and the Immigration should state that cancellations are free and refunds given, due to airline unpredictable policies. But they don't give refunds that I know of... :(


Sunday 18th of April 2021

@mike, hi mike do you manage to enter Sri Lanka? I wanted to know the recent situation there. We watch some videos that even you get in and quarantine in hotel/ resort for 14 days, and pcr test negative, you can't really go around freely but only designated bio-bubble areas spot. This means itinerary should be followed strictly? Thanks


Friday 22nd of January 2021

terrible system. almost as bad as thailands ASQ hotels..


Thursday 21st of January 2021

Your article mentions proof of you know what the amount is?

Wanda Cruz

Sunday 10th of January 2021