Sri Lanka has opened up to Indians in a new update which should be beneficial for Indian passport holders who would like to visit another country apart from the Maldives at this point in time. Fully vaccinated travellers from India can now enter Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka opens up to fully vaccinated arrivals from India
Sri Lanka has updated their health protocols for arrivals from India. Here on, travellers from India who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination, and arrive in Sri Lanka from India (and transit, as well) after two weeks of their vaccination. As per Sri Lanka, “any vaccination type accepted by the country of origin is acceptable”, which means that even Covaxin/Sputnik V vaccinated travellers will be allowed into Sri Lanka.
Under the rules set out by Sri Lanka, non-vaccinated or partially-vaccinated travellers are now allowed into the country. No prior approval is required from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Civil Aviation Authority. There is no minimum duration of stay in Sri Lanka.
Not just that, Covid-19 recovered passengers arriving from India (including transit) with one dose of their vaccine will be considered as ‘fully vaccinated’. These travellers should present a valid document certifying COVID-19 illness (in English) and departed between 28 – 90 days from the date of the positive COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT).
Travellers need to have a valid tourist visa before boarding their flight into Sri Lanka. All visas must be applied online on eta.gov.lk. However, the visa issuance is subject to some new rules, which include:
- Have a pre-paid booking at an L1 Safe & Secure 3* hotel for the first two days until the on-arrival PCR test is performed. You also need a pre-paid booking at a 3* or above hotel for the rest of your stay. Hotel bookings can be made with the hotel or through a travel agent. The on-arrival RT-PCR test costs USD 40 per PCR test and is exempt for children below two years only.
- An on-arrival RT-PCR test will be performed at the hotel, and till the results don’t come out, travellers can’t leave their hotel. After receiving their negative report, travellers can leave, after the hotel issues a discharge document after validating the vaccination and PCR test results. Children between 2-18 years old will be allowed to accompany their parents on receiving a negative RT-PCR test on arrival.
- A local Covid-19 travel insurance, valid for one month, is mandatory and costs USD 12, for a policy worth USD 50,000.
You also need to have a negative RT-PCR test done within 72 hours prior to embarkation and organise airport transfers by either the respective Certified Safe & Secure hotel or Certified Safe & Secure travel agent. Here is a list of hotels approved by Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Airlines, in line with the new mandate, will start expanding their flights from India from September 1, 2021, onwards. They will resume services to Madurai, Trichy, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, and add more services to Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. IndiGo, as well, is planning to re-launch its flights to Colombo from September 1.
Sri Lanka is slowly opening up to Indian travellers, with all sorts of measures in place. This is a great opportunity for those who have been waiting to visit Sri Lanka to get there, all at the extra cost of getting an RT-PCR test done.
As monsoons almost come to an end, this is going to be a good time to head to Sri Lanka. Who is planning a trip?
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