Can I travel to Sri Lanka?
Can I travel to Sri Lanka? It is a question that we are asked every day. And the answer is a resounding “yes”!
As restrictions because of Covid-19 begin to ease, many of you will be more eager as ever to plan your next holiday. There is a big world out there and you want to see it. Some of you will be more wary and will want answers. All of you have a right to expect new safety standards and precautions from airlines, drivers, guides and hoteliers. When you ask “can I have a holiday in Sri Lanka after Covid-19?” you deserve a proper answer. Below, we seek to give you all the information you need.
Two things matter:
- What rules and regulations MUST I follow to come to Sri Lanka? The system is now clear and well-organised. But it is vital that you understand what you have to do.
- What else will Red Dot do to protect my safety? All of you have a right to expect new safety standards and precautions from airlines, drivers, guides and hoteliers.
Below, we seek to give you all the information you need.
Travel restrictions in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has made excellent strides with its vaccination process. And a well-established and warm-hearted tourism industry makes this tropical escape ideally placed to look after your needs.
Please read the up-to-the-minute advice from Sri Lanka Travel – the official tourist board – at www.srilanka.travel/helloagain and download the easy-to-follow pdfs.
Our skilled Sales Consultants can guide you through every step of the process. For your convenience we can sum up what you need to do here:
Fully Vaccinated Travellers:
- Strongly recommended to buy travel insurance with Covid-19 cover.
- Take a negative PCR test 72 hours or less before your flight.
- Make sure you have your original vaccination certificate to show at the airport.
- Strongly recommended to use Safe and Secure ground agents and accommodation to protect your safety.
Non-Vaccinated or Part-Vaccinated Travellers:
All of the above plus the following:
- Buy mandatory Sri Lanka Covid insurance at only USD 12 per person for up to a month
- Once you have bought this insurance, use the reference number to obtain your visa.
- Undergo on-arrival PCR test at safe and Secure Level 1 hotel
- Stay in pre-booked Level 1 Tourism Bio-Bubble Hotel for up to 14 days after arrival (see downloads for more details)
- Travellers allowed to visit approved tourist sites within bio-bubble arrangements.
- If not leaving the country in less than 14 days, take PCR or rapid antigen test after 12 days.
- Receive discharge document after 14 days if all fulfilled.
Covid-19 Recovered Travellers:
This is a more complex set of regulations and we recommend that you read the official guidance.
How safe is Sri Lanka during Covid-19?
Nowhere can claim to be entirely safe from the effects of a global pandemic, but Sri Lanka can fairly be regarded as one of the safer holiday destinations:
- Proactive government regulations: From quickly imposing an island-wide curfew to producing detailed guidelines for hotels, restaurants and transport resuming operations post-lockdown, the Sri Lankan government have been proactive in putting in place effective policies to help limit the spread of the virus from as early as January 2020. On 10th August, Sri Lanka received the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council in recognition of the comprehensive health and safety measures the government has proposed to safeguard tourists during their holiday.
- Private chauffeur-guides for tours: Unlike other destinations around the world, when travelling around Sri Lanka you can use the same vehicle and chauffeur-guide throughout the tour rather than multiple separate transfers or public transport, and you are not required to take any internal flights. This dramatically reduces your contact with others.
- An abundance of small boutiques and villas: You can easily avoid encountering other travellers by staying at some of the many small boutique hotels and private villas scattered around the island. We have an extensive list of carefully-vetted options to suit all price ranges and tastes.
- An outdoor life all year round: You can eat and drink in outdoor restaurants and bars all year round.
- Sri Lanka is largely uncluttered: Despite enjoying several years of being ranked amongst the top holiday hotspots in the world, Sri Lanka remains largely uncluttered and it is easy to escape the tourist trail should you wish to. Our talented team of trip designers can make recommendations for the best off-the-beaten-track itineraries, beaches, rural retreats and experiences.
Can I get Covid-19 travel insurance?
Sri Lanka has been pro-active by insisting that everyone buys its own Covid-19 Travel insurance cover at only USD 12 a day in case you contract the virus on holiday.
Worldwide, companies are changing their policies. In the UK, for example, Staysure and Saga were among the first companies to offer this option and others were quick to follow. We are sure other providers will adjust to the new normal and follow suit. It will ensure that Britons travelling overseas are covered for emergency medical and repatriation expenses if infected with the virus.
Talk to us today about any aspect of your holiday in Sri Lanka. Discover the island with a little bit of everything.
The Red Dot commitment: caring for your health and safety will be at the heart of everything we do.
- Our safety measures outlined below will be designed so you can enjoy your holiday with confidence.
- Our FlexiBook scheme will enable you to cancel or adjust your holiday up to seven days before travel with a no-questions-asked 100% refund.
- We will never lose sight of our overriding aim – to deliver memorable, fairly-priced, tailor-made holidays for all.
- Red Dot is a company you can trust. Our high customer service levels come from 20 years of experience. We have responded professionally to terrorism, tsunamis and global financial crashes.
In addition to the protocols put in place by the Sri Lankan government, we have carried out a detailed examination of our procedures in all areas of the company to look after our holidaymakers, to protect our staff and to champion best practice from all our providers, including drivers, property owners and activity organisers. You can find an overview of our proposed health and safety measures below.
Based on an independent evaluation conducted by KPMG Sri Lanka, our ground operator 'The Fabulous Getaway' was amongst the first Sri Lanka Destination Management Companies to receive a 'Safe and Secure' certificate from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). This ‘Safe and Secure’ certificate signifies that the company has put in place appropriate health & safety protocols to safeguard clients against Covid-19 during their holiday in Sri Lanka. Holidays in Sri Lanka can now only be operated by travel companies with this accreditation.
Whilst we encourage best practice from all of our providers and are committed to upholding the highest standards of health and safety for your Sri Lanka holiday, we will also be flexible whenever we can towards YOUR personal wishes.
Prior to arriving in Sri Lanka:
- You are encouraged to make an informed decision about your holiday with respect to your own and others’ wellbeing by staying abreast of the latest COVID-19-related information for Sri Lanka, using reliable sources such as the World Health Organisation and the travel advisories of your own and / or the Sri Lankan government
- Our travel consultants will provide up-to-date information about the prevailing COVID-19 climate in Sri Lanka and any applicable government health and safety regulations for tourists
- We are endeavouring to strengthen pre-arrival communication with all partners (e.g. hotels) to reduce wait times during the tour, ensuring safer check-ins and securing advance ticket purchases to sites and experiences where possible
During your holiday:
- A dedicated Airport Representative will be present on arrival to introduce you to your chauffeur / chauffeur-guide / guide
- You will be welcomed by a traditional ‘Ayubowan’ greeting (both palms pressed together) instead of a handshake at all applicable points
- You will be encouraged to practice a minimum 1.5-metre physical distance between yourself and others
- You will be discouraged from engaging with large gatherings, festivals and celebrations
- You will be encouraged to wear a face-mask at all appropriate times
- You will be discouraged from engaging in group photography with external parties
- You will be required to adhere to applicable government health & safety regulations at all times
Chauffeurs / chauffeur-guides / guides
Prior to the beginning of the tour:
- Drivers and guides will undergo training on COVID-19 risk prevention and management
- They will be briefed on existing regulations and emergency protocols
- They will follow the most up-to-date government health & safety guidelines
- In the event that they test positive for or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, they will not be allowed to participate in the tour
- They will equip the tour vehicle with hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and waste disposal bags, and sanitize all touch points regularly
During the tour:
- They will regularly sanitize all touch-points of the tour vehicle
- They will practice a hand and face sanitization ritual frequently
- They will be encouraged to wear a face-mask at all times
- They will be encouraged to dine and sleep in isolation rather than in shared accommodation
- They will be encouraged to avoid comfort stops and restaurants which do not follow approved health & safety regulations
- They will discourage you from engaging in group photography with external parties
- They will be encouraged to avoid consuming alcohol and/or tobacco during the tour
Prior to arrival:
- Our sales team will have up-to-date knowledge of all hotels that have been certified as ‘Safe and Secure’ and will help you choose the best options for your holiday
- Our FlexiBook policy means that you can adjust and / or cancel your trip up to seven days before travel with a no-questions-asked 100% refund
During your holiday:
- You are encouraged to adhere to the protocols put in place at all hotels
- Hotels will be encouraged to prepare a specific check-out slot should you wish.
Check the list of Safe and Secure Hotels provided by the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Association.
- You will be encouraged to adhere to the protocols in place at all sites and activity centres
- You and the experience host(s) must wear a face-mask during an experience / activity, especially during visits to plantations (e.g. tea or spice estates) and when interacting with rural communities
- You may be provided with gloves prior to participating in an experience – these gloves will be disposed of responsibly prior to you re-entering the tour vehicle
- Experience hosts may alter the route of an experience / activity to avoid large gatherings
- Special transportation for the experience, such as jeeps and boats, will be sanitized before and after each experience and equipped with hand sanitizers, disposable masks and gloves
- You will have access to a dedicated 24-hour customer care hotline during your tour
- You will have a check-in call from our Customer Care team throughout the course of your tour
- You will be informed of any changes in government or TFG health & safety regulations that occur whilst you are on tour
- We will monitor the health and wellbeing of you and your chauffeur / chauffeur-guide / guide regularly throughout the tour