COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information – Sri Lanka 

Last updated: August 8, 2022

***As of 12:01 a.m. EDT June 12, 2022, the CDC order requiring all persons aged two and above to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States, is rescinded.  Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2022, the CDC will no longer order air passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test result, or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19, prior to boarding a flight to the United States.  Of note, CDC’s Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is still in effect.  For more information see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers.

Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information

  • The Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, including B.1.1.7 (Alpha variant), B.1.617.2 (Delta variant), B.1.1.529 (Omicron variant), and BA.2 (Omicron subvariant).
  • 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.
  • 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 24 hours? Yes, but please confirm with the testing site you are using as to whether they can return results within the necessary timeframe.
  • 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 (6) 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, Covishield (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? No (effective March 1, 2022)
  • 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 http://www.immigration.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 COVID-19 Traveler Information. 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 
  • Effective January 1, 2022, all visitors to Sri Lanka (whether vaccinated or unvaccinated) must purchase COVID insurance, currently set at 12 USD/month.  Please visit helloagain (srilanka.travel) for the most up-to-date information.  

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No 

Quarantine Information 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes. Travelers who have not received a full course of a COVID vaccine are required to quarantine at a government hotel for 7 days upon arrival in the country.  Fully vaccinated travelers, defined as those who have received a full vaccine (often two doses) and waited two weeks to travel, are exempted from quarantine.
  • 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 

Fines for Non-Compliance

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

Consular Operations

  • The U.S. Embassy in Colombo is currently providing routine American Citizen Services (i.e., passports, consular reports of birth abroad, and notarial services).
  • The U.S. Embassy in Colombo is offering limited immigrant visa (IV) and nonimmigrant visa (NIV) services:
    • IV: Immediate Relative and Family-preference cases are currently being processed.
    • NIV: Student, petition-based, and crew/transit visas are currently being processed as well as B1/B2 (visitor) visas, but at a reduced capacity.  

Local Resources

  • Travelers are encouraged to review COVID-19 information available at state.gov
  • For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)
  • You are encouraged to visit state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to health safety and security. Please also visit the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to see information on entry restrictions, foreign quarantine policies, and urgent health information provided by local governments.
  • Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. The Department uses these Alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1(888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.
  • The Sri Lanka Ministry of Health website contains information regarding the COVID-19 response.