COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information – Sri Lanka 

Last updated: June 3, 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. 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 many essential businesses, to include supermarkets, retail stores, restaurants, and financial institutions to 25 percent of maximum occupancy.  Day cares, schools, cinemas, swimming pools, bars, clubs, spas, and others are closed. Meetings, weddings, conferences, and large gatherings are not permitted.
  • 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? No. Vaccines are only available to U.S. citizens with resident visas.  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, Sinopharm.
  • 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? No.
  • Cruise ship or private vessel passengers will not be allowed to disembark.
  • Travelers transiting Qatar require a negative PCR test within 48 hours of departure.
  • 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 an 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 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 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 imposed restrictions on inter-provincial travel, including travel in/out of Western Province until midnight on May 30.  The Government has also instituted island wide restrictions (essentially, a general curfew) beginning May 21 at 23:00 and ending on May 25 at 04:00, from 23:00 on May 25 until 04:00 on May 31, and from 23:00 on May 31 until 04;00 on June 4, and from 23:00 on June 4 until 04:00 on June 14.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes.
  • The Government of Sri Lanka has imposed restrictions on inter-provincial travel, including in/out of Western Province, from May 11 until May 30, 2021.  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.
  • All arriving passengers are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine followed by an at-home 14-day self-isolation. 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 (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 has suspended nonimmigrant and immigrant visa services.  We are currently processing:
    • Humanitarian and medical emergencies and C1/D.
    • IR/IH3, IR/IH4.
  • The Consular Section is limited in the services it can provide during curfews.

Local Resources:

  • Travelers are encouraged to review information available at:
    • American citizens with questions on entry requirements to the United States may visit the Department of Homeland Security COVID-19 website.
    • For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.
    • You are encouraged to visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to 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.
    • Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
    • The Sri Lanka Ministry of Health website contains information regarding the COVID-19 response.