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Special Notice

Sri Lanka Tourism Operational Guidelines with Health Protocols

ENTRY PROCEDURE TO SRI LANKA

Tour Bookings:

  • A prior booking of the tour package should be done online or via SLTDA registered travel agency.
  • It is mandatory for all tourists to commit to a minimum stay of five (05) nights in Sri Lanka and book all accommodation only at SLTDA registered and ‘Safe & Secure’ certified establishments; the first night should be booked at an accommodation establishment in close proximity to the arrival airport until results of the on arrival PCR tests are released (Colombo/Negombo areas for arrivals from Bandaranaike/Ratmalana International Airports and Hambantota area for arrivals from Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport).
  • The accommodation service providers, travel agents and/or tour operators should share accommodation and tour details of tourists with the SLTDA through a data login

Visa procedure:

  • The “Visa Free” status and the issuance of “On Arrival” visas are suspended until further notice.
  • All tourists entering Sri Lanka are required to obtain online tourist visas before arrival.
  • An online tourist visa fee of USD 100 will be applicable until further notice.
  • The following documents are mandatory for processing online tourist visa.
  • A valid travel insurance with health and hospitalization coverage for the entire duration of stay.
  • A valid return air ticket
  • Travel itinerary and details of confirmed reservations made at SLTDA registered and ‘Safe & Secure’ certified accommodation establishments, with the first night stay at a facility in and around Colombo/Negombo or Hambantota depending on the arrival airport.

Airline requirement:

  • Any Airline operating flights to Sri Lanka will check tourists for valid visas and negative PCR test reports before allowing them to board the flight.

Country health authority requirements:

  • A Negative PCR report issued by an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to the landing in Sri Lanka.
  • All tourists should undergo a PCR test at the arriving airport. (a)
  • A repeat PCR test to be conducted 5-7 days after the arrival or if the guest develops respiratory symptoms, whichever comes first.
  • For tourists staying longer than 10 days, another PCR test will be carried out between 10- 12 days after the arrival in Sri Lanka. (b)

Special notice:

  • The necessary PCR tests detailed in (a) & (b) will be conducted free of charge.
  • If any tourist is tested positive for COVID-19, he/she will be sent to a hospital or a quarantine hotel and will be charged at the rate of USD 100 per night.
  • The booked in accommodation establishments/hotels, travel agents or tour operators are responsible for arranging safe transportation of tourists within the country.
  • Sri Lanka Tourism has initiated discussions with relevant authorities to consider relaxation of tourist visa conditions to encourage long stays and multiple visits of tourists.

PROCEDURE AT THE AIRPORT

Airport Arrival

  • Use only traditional Sri Lankan greeting “Ayubowan” at all times instead of handshaking, hugging or kissing.
  • Face masks worn during the flight should be disposed of and new face masks should be worn before entering the airport.
  • Washing hands with soap and disinfecting the footwear is mandatory for all tourists before entering the airport.
  • Tourists/airport staff should maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meter between two people at all times.
  • All arriving passengers and airline crew members should undergo temperature screening through thermal scanners; if anyone records a temperature of 37.4oC (99.3oF) or above, he/she should be immediately referred to the airport health office of Quarantine Unit for further examination and necessary action.
  • The tourists and airport staff should wear face masks at all times; surgical face masks should be changed every 4 to 6 hours and if needed, face masks can be purchased at the airport.
  • Disinfecting procedures to be in place for all arrivals, luggage and travel documents.

Health/Immigration counters

  • 2.2.1. Every arriving passenger should submit a completed Health Declaration Form (HDF) of Sri Lanka to health counters at the airport; The PHIs will scrutinize HDFs and passengers for COVID-19 symptoms and tourists with high risk conditions will be referred to the Airport Health Officer for further action.
  • A glass/transparent plastic shield (sneeze guard) should be placed in the immigration counters to separate staff and visitors.
  • Immigration officers should check all mandatory documents of visitors including PCR report, travel insurance, travel/stay details, health counter clearance note and tourists’ personal details.
  • All tourists entering Sri Lanka should be electronically registered through the immigration counters in a centralized database with back end dashboard.
  • After completing immigration procedures, the tourists should undergo the mandatory PCR testing at the sample collection facility inside the airport.

Special counter handled by Srilankan Tourism

  • All tourists should visit this counter and complete the following;
    Online registration of the personal information including travel agents/tour operators, accommodation and transport details.
  • Obtain information on COVID-19 preventive measures, procedures and emergency contact details.
  • Download the mobile app (once available) and activate it for connectivity and traceability.

Luggage collection

  • All luggage should be disinfected prior to being placed on the conveyor belt and should maintain an appropriate gap to facilitate the safe social distancing of passengers when collecting.
  • Ensure 1.5 meter safe distance is maintained at the collection point and at all times of communication.
  • Keep 70% alcohol rub/hand sanitizer to use frequently when collecting/handling luggage and at all times inside the airport.
  • The trolleys should be disinfected after each use and it is recommended to keep disinfected trolleys and used trolleys separately with clear notices for users.

Common facilities used by Tourist (Washrooms, Lobby area etc)

  • Make sure the safe distance of 1.5 meter is maintained at all times.
  • In the washrooms regularly disinfect the frequently touched areas like water taps, door/
    towel/cistern handles, seats and cover flaps, wash basins, door knobs, buttons and switches, using standard and quality disinfectants.
  • Washroom cleaning and disinfecting should be carried out at least on hourly basis and more frequently during rush hours (Refer MoH Guidelines for more details).
  • Provide adequate supply of toilet paper, paper towels, hand dryers and liquid soap at all times in the washrooms.
  • Ensure convenient availability of hand sanitizers in the common areas of the airport.

Duty free shops

  • Ensure 1.5 meter safe distancing between customers at all times inside the shops and limit the number of customers within the store to avoid overcrowding.
  • Encourage the use of self-checkouts, cashless or contact-less payments to speed up the payment process and reduce cash-handling.
  • Sanitize hands when entering the store, ideally using your own sanitizer or with the sanitizer provided by a staff member at the entrance.
  • Avoid contact with surfaces inside the store as much as possible.
  • If using a basket or a trolley to shop, thoroughly sanitize its handles.
  • The customers should not be allowed to touch any sale items and there should be dedicated staff to assist customers to select the items they want to buy.
  • Duty Free shop Managers should ensure cleaning of the counter tops, trolleys and baskets with suitable disinfectants after each use and/or on hourly basis.

Information and travel counters (for general travel information)/banks

  • Always establish glass/plastic shields (sneeze guards) in the counters to separate staff and the tourists.
  • The Information/Travel counters should clearly explain the basic safety measures tourists should follow during accommodation and when on tour.
  • The bank staff should encourage customers to do on-line transactions and credit/debit card payments in order to minimize cash handling; reliable and clear information should be made available about such payment methods to the tourists.

Tourist Police procedure

The tourist police will clear tourists and send them to the designated transport pick up area after ensuring the following;

  • Availability of the tourists’ personal protection equipment (face masks, sanitizers etc.).
  • Detailed Travel plan with transportation and accommodation arrangements.
  • Recording of passport numbers of tourists along with details of the pickup vehicle and the driver.

 

AIRPORT TRANSFERS & TRAVEL OPTIONS WITHIN THE COUNTRY

Airport Transfers

  • Tourists will be transferred to the designated places of stay in Colombo, Negombo or Hambantota areas by a vehicle arranged by the booked in accommodation facility/hotel or by the respective travel agent/tour operator.
  • Cars, vans or any other vehicles transporting tourists should adhere to MoH recommended guidelines and ensure the number of passengers inside a vehicle is limited to maintain the recommended safe distancing between seated passengers; this condition may be relaxed, if one family is traveling together.
  • Tourists should sanitize hands and disinfectant footwear prior to boarding a vehicle and wearing of face masks is compulsory during the journey.
  • The vehicle driver/pick up personnel should wear face masks and maintain a safe physical distance of 1.5 meter at all times, including greeting and handling of luggage.

Travel options for tourist visits within the country

The booked in accommodation establishments/hotels, travel agents or tour operators are responsible for arranging safe transportation of tourists within the country; therefore, it is their duty to ensure the vehicles used for tourists’ transportation are cleared for required health and safety standard detailed below;

Tourist Buses for tour groups
  • The driver, support staff and tourists should disinfectant their footwear prior to boarding the vehicle and should wear face masks at all times inside the vehicle.
  • The drivers and support staff should ensure that there is adequate stocks of face masks for their use.
  • All buses should have a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the tourists whenever it is required.
  • The buses should be cleaned and disinfected (the seats, all handles, interior door panels, windows, locks, exterior door handles, poles etc.) before transporting each batch of tourists, in order to prevent possible cross contamination.
  • No staff and/or guide should be assigned for a tour if they show respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 (sneezing, coughing, fever, stomach ache, diarrhea, etc.); it is recommended to introduce a declaration form to be filled and signed by the crew/guide stating that they do not possess any of the above stated symptoms.
  • The bus driver and support staff should ensure that the recommended safe distance between seated passengers are maintained at all times during the journey.
  • Health promotional messages and recommended responsible behavior of tourists should be communicated inside the bus using audio, video and other appropriate means during the journey.
  • After every stop point during the tour, all the touch points within the vehicle should be cleaned by the bus crew using standard sanitizer liquid.
  • Group photographs are only allowed if the recommended physical distance can be maintained.
  • The bus crew should ensure that no stop-overs are made at uncertified shops, restaurants, sites, shopping malls, etc.
  • The bus crew should not consume liquor and/or smoke during the tour, as those habits may reduce the immunity of the human body.
  • At the end of each day’s tour, the bus should be properly cleaned, washed and the interior should be sanitized using disinfectant liquid.
  • The crew is advised to have a bath before proceeding to any other activity or to the driver/ staff quarters.
  • The bus crew should securely keep records of each tour with the detailed list of tourists for a
    minimum of 21 days.
  • If a tourist shows COVID-19 related symptoms during the tour, the bus crew should follow the
    recommended guidelines and procedures of the MoH.
Other hired vehicles (from travel agencies & hotels) and registered taxis/rented vehicles
  • Registered taxis and/or any other motor vehicles should limit the number of passengers in order to maintain the safe physical distancing between seated passengers; this requirement may be relaxed, if one family is travelling together.
  • The driver and the tourists should disinfectant their footwear prior to boarding the vehicle and they should always wear face masks during the journey.
  • All vehicles should have a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the tourists whenever required.
  • The vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected (the seats, all handles, interior door panel, windows, locks, exterior door handles, poles, etc.) before transporting each batch of tourists to prevent possible cross contamination.
  • Health promotional messages and other recommended behavior should be communicated using appropriate means during the journey.
  • After every stop point during the tour, the frequently touched areas within the vehicle should be cleaned and disinfected by the driver.
  • Group photographs should be allowed only by maintaining recommended safe physical distancing.
  • The driver should not stop the vehicle at any uncertified shops, restaurants, sites, or shopping malls.
  • The driver should strictly refrain from consuming alcohol or smoking during the tour, as those habits may reduce the immunity of the human body.
  • At the end of each day’s tour, the vehicle should be properly cleaned, washed and the interior should be sanitized using disinfectant liquid.
  • The driver is advised to have a bath before proceeding to any other activity or to the driver’s quarters.
  • All taxi/vehicle drivers should maintain records of each tour along with the details of the tourists.
  • If a tourist shows COVID-19 related symptoms during the tour, follow the recommended guidelines and procedures of the MoH.
Public transport (trains, buses and tuk tuk)

Use of public transport is not allowed at this stage for tourists.

Source: Sri Lanka Tourism Operational Guidelines with Health Protocols/Version-1 08/06/2020