Sri Lanka reopened its borders to foreign tourists on 21 January after a ten-month hiatus, officials have said.

However, travellers will be subject to tough Covid-19 protocols. Under the plans, tourists will be allowed to stay in 55 designated hotels, which will be off limits to locals except for staff, across the country.

Visitors will also be required to produce a negative PCR test, taken up to four days before their arrival. They must undergo two more tests for a visit of up to seven days, and three tests if they stay for more than a week.

Kimarli Fernando, chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, said, “It is with great pleasure and excitement we announce that Sri Lanka will be open for tourism from Thursday. 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.”

Tourists will be required to purchase insurance, costing US$12, that will cover up to US$50,000 in Covid-19 related medical costs. Passengers who have spent up to two weeks in Britain before arriving will not be allowed to enter the country, however, and flights from the UK remain banned. This is an effort to keep out a more contagious Covid-19 variant.


Photo Credit: NY Times, NG

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