COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information – Sri Lanka 

Last updated: August 16, 2021

Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.  Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Some airlines require COVID-19 viral tests be taken closer to your travel date. Please check with your airline before initiating travel.  In addition, the CDC website has additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021.

You qualify for this exception if all the following are true:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • You are currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
  • You are flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or have only short-term transit (“connecting flights”) through a foreign country on your direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
  • Your expired passport was originally valid for 10 years. Or, if you were 15 years of age or younger when the passport was issued, your expired passport was valid for 5 years.
  • Your expired passport is undamaged.
  • Your expired passport is unaltered.
  • Your expired passport is in your possession.

You do not qualify for this exception if:

  • You wish to depart from the United States to an international destination.
  • You are currently abroad seeking to travel to a foreign country for any length of stay longer than an airport connection en route to the United States or to a United States territory.
  • Your expired passport was limited in validity.
  • Your expired passport is a special issuance passport (such as a diplomatic, official, service, or no-fee regular passport).
  • Your expired passport is damaged.
  • Your expired passport is altered.
  • Your expired passport is not in your possession.

All other passport rules and regulations remain in effect.  The Department of Homeland Security maintains discretion to reject any bearer in accordance with 22 CFR 53.2(b)(7) and 8 CFR 235.1(b)

Country-Specific Information

  • The Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, including the B.1.1.7 variant.
  • In areas with an increase in cases, the government of Sri Lanka will enact preventative measures, including curfews as well as travel restrictions. These restrictions are not always announced in advance or consistently enforced. Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing and face covering. Failure to respect preventative measures could result in involuntary quarantine or criminal charges.
  • The government has instituted a nightly curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., and interprovincial travel is prohibited.
  • New guidelines restrict the number of people who may participate in many activities including wedding celebrations, public gatherings, dining in restaurants, etc. Follow local guidelines before engaging in any public activities.
  • Starting September 15, 2021 proof of vaccination will be required for entry into public spaces including hotels.
  • The government of Sri Lanka has established hotlines for tourists who are facing problems scheduling transportation to the airport for departure:
    • +94 (011) 244-4480
    • +94 (011) 244-4481
    • +94 (011) 597-8730
    • +94 (011) 597-8734
    • +94 (011) 597-8720

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Sri Lanka? Yes.
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes.
  • Citizens can obtain a COVID-19 test in Sri Lanka at any private hospital. The average cost per test is 9,000-13,000 Sri Lankan Rupees (approximately $50-$70).
  • Test results are forwarded via e-mail.
  • The Sri Lanka Ministry of Health website contains information regarding the COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Sri Lanka approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes.
  • Are vaccines available in Sri Lanka for U.S. citizens to receive? Vaccines are only available to U.S. citizens, age 30 or older, with resident visas. Other U.S. Citizens who wish to be vaccinated should travel to the United States to do so.
  • Six vaccination centers have been set up in Colombo for the public to get vaccinated. Colombo residents need to contact their area Ministry of Health officer or Public Health Inspector’s office and register for the vaccine, or they can go to the nearest center and wait to be vaccinated.
  • Which vaccines are available in Sri Lanka? Oxford Astra-Zeneca, Covishied (Serum Institute of India), Sinopharm, Gamaleya (Sputnic V) and Pfizer. Customers often have no choice in which vaccine they receive when going to vaccine clinics in Sri Lanka. U.S. citizens who would like to receive a specific vaccine may travel to the United States to do so.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
  • Cruise ship or private vessel passengers are not allowed to disembark.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes.
  • A visitor wishing to stay more than 30 days in Sri Lanka, may apply for a visa extension. The Short Visit visa may be extended up to 90 days from the date of arrival at the first instance and further 90 days at the second instance. For more details, please visit gov.lk.
  • For information on limited humanitarian exemptions to CDC’s requirement that all U.S. bound travelers present a negative COVID test, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html. Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity. To submit information in support of an exemption, email ConsularColombo@state.gov.

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? The government has instituted a nightly curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes. The Government of Sri Lanka has imposed restrictions on inter-provincial travel. As part of the travel restriction, there will be checkpoints and an enhanced police presence on the borders of provinces.
  • Travel to the airport for ticketed passengers will be permitted. Travelers should be prepared to show their passports and airline tickets at checkpoints.

Quarantine Information

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes. Travelers who have received a full course of a COVID vaccine are required to quarantine at a government hotel for one-two nights pending PCR test results. Travelers who have not completed a full course of a COVID vaccine must quarantine for 14 days at a government hotel after their arrival.
  • Due to frequent changes, please check http://eta.gov.lk/slvisa for information about visa and tourism restrictions in Sri Lanka.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes, with limited connections for interprovincial travel.

Fines for Non-Compliance (if applicable)

  • Non-compliance with host country rules regarding social distancing, movement restrictions, or other COVID-19 prevention measures may result in fines or arrests.

Consular Operations

  • The U.S. Embassy is currently providing routine American Citizen Services (i.e. passports, consular reports of birth abroad, notarial services).
  • The U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka is offering limited immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services. We are currently processing:
    • IV: IR and F cases are currently processed.
    • NIV: Student, petition-based, and crew/transit visas are currently processed.

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