June, 18, 2020
Sri Lanka has announced that it will welcome tourists from August 1, but only if they meet strict requirements and undergo rigorous testing for Covid-19.
“There have been discussions now to open the airport for international tourists to visit Sri Lanka. August has been discussed but meanwhile what we have done is we have created a very in-depth guideline for the tourism industry. All tourists will be required to do a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure from their country and produce the result and undertake a fresh PCR test on arrival in Sri Lanka. The tourists will have to undergo the second PCR test which will be conducted within 5-7 days of arrival and the third test within 10-12 days of arrival. Unfortunately, it is a very stringent guideline but we have to keep it stringent to safeguard the citizens,” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said in the first media briefing post-COVID-19.
Speaking further she stated that no foreign tourists would be allowed to use public transport and added that all tourists wishing to travel to Sri Lanka will be required to apply for a visa online with the application form having additional questions such as duration of the stay, tour itinerary, proof of booking of accommodation and in-country transport method etc.
“With regard to tourists, the previous on-arrival visa has been suspended for the moment. Going forward there will be a visa process which will include the requirement to provide your itinerary and bookings in a registered COVID certified safe hotel. So going forward you will have to apply online."
“When we do bring tourists, we will take every single necessary action to make sure our Sri Lankans are safe and if there is any issue then we will delay opening the airport if we believe it is not in the interest of our Sri Lankans, “ she added.