Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Sri Lanka on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial airlines are operating flights to and from Sri Lanka. You should check with your airline for any specific travel requirements.
Due to a prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the community, there is a high risk of changes to flights and airport operations at short notice. If you plan to travel, you should consult your travel operator.
From 1 March 2022, eligible travellers will no longer be required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test before arriving in Sri Lanka. See Entry requirements for details.
Further guidance from the Sri Lankan authorities for foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka is available on government websites, such as the Ministry of Health, Epidemiology Unit and Health Promotion Bureau websites.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Sri Lanka, including the rules for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers.
Returning to the UK
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19 whilst staying at a Level 1 Safe and Secure hotel and are symptomatic, you will be admitted to a private quarantine facility approved by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health. The mandatory COVID-19 insurance cover will reimburse quarantine charges up to $50,000 USD for a month. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are non-symptomatic, you will be required to quarantine in an isolated area of the same hotel under supervision of the hotel doctor/local health authorities. Close contacts of the COVID-19 positive person will also be required to quarantine in an isolated area of the hotel.
If you have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 whilst not staying in a Level 1 Safe and Secure hotel, you should contact the hotel management in the first instance and the Health Promotion Bureau if further advice is required. Test results will be shared with the Sri Lankan authorities, and the local health authorities will arrange government or private quarantine facilities. Mandatory insurance for all tourist visits should cover the costs. Minors will not be treated any differently and the same process applies. If a parent is tested positive, then any minor children will also need to quarantine. Ministry of Health Guidance is available for details of how quarantine/isolation will be managed for COVID-19 cases.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in Sri Lanka
Regulations are in place to enforce social distancing and the wearing of a face mask in public areas. Those not adhering to restrictions and local guidelines could risk arrest. You should follow the advice of local authorities.
A 24-hour hotline number 1965 is available for the public to make enquiries about essential services in operation.
Further restrictions and guidelines could be imposed at short notice. Public guidelines and circulars are published on government websites, such as the Ministry of Health, Epidemiology Unit or Health Promotion Bureau websites. However this may not always be up to date. You should follow the media for updates, or speak to your hotel or travel agent for the latest information, and follow the instructions of the local authorities at all times.
Most hotels and guesthouses are open to foreign nationals. There have been reports of late-notice cancelations of room bookings, so you should check with your travel agent or accommodation provider. Social distancing and other public health measures (such as temperature checks) may be in place. Some hotels may require evidence of a negative PCR test on arrival.
Healthcare in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan healthcare system could come under strain due to the impact of the pandemic. Access to routine and emergency healthcare may be limited. If you are tested positive for coronavirus, you may be transferred to a specific hospital or quarantine centre for treatment. The Health Promotion Bureau has set up a trilingual health hotline for those who have queries relating to coronavirus: 1999.
View Health for further details on healthcare in Sri Lanka.
For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan national vaccination programme started in February 2021 and is using the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines. The Government of Sri Lanka has stated that British nationals resident in Sri Lanka who are able to demonstrate proof of residency on a permanent or temporary basis are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. This will be delivered by local authorities. The vaccination booster programme began on 24 November 2021. Further information about the programme can be found on Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health website.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.
If you’re a British national living in Sri Lanka, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.