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Travel
Requirements


There are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for travel to Sri Lanka. There is no requirement to present certificates of vaccination/testing for COVID-19.

Any traveller who tests positive for COVID-19 while in Sri Lanka should isolate for 7 days in a private hospital, hotel or at their place of residence.

Things to have before boarding a plane:

Before your travel

If you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka, it’s important to know the travel requirements before you go. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for your journey:

  1. COVID-19 Requirements
  2. Visa Requirements
  3. Health Insurance
  4. Currency
  5. Culture and Etiquette

COVID-19 Requirements

In December 2022, the Government of Sri Lanka announced that travellers are no longer required to produce COVID-19 vaccination certificates on arrival in Sri Lanka. Pre-departure COVID-19 tests are also no longer required before arrival.

On 17 June, the Government of Sri Lanka announced that COVID-19 travel insurance is no longer mandatory for all visitors. However, it is important to ensure you take out comprehensive travel insurance before you travel abroad.

Visa requirements

Passport validity

If you are visiting Sri Lanka, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.

Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

All visitors are advised to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to enter Sri Lanka. Further information on eligibility is available on the Department of Immigration and Emigration website.

Visitors can apply for an ETA on the ETA website.

On arrival visa facilities are available, however applying for an ETA before travel is advised for ease of travel and to prevent delays on arrival.

All visitors need to comply with the guidelines imposed for tourists by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Tourist visas are normally valid for 30 days. If you overstay your visa you could be fined or detained by the police.

Eligible nationalities

Everyone is eligible for ETA, except for the following passport holders:

Free visa on arrival:

  •  Maldives (30 days, extendable up to 180 days)
  •  Seychelles (60 days, up to 90 days per calendar year)
  •  Singapore (30 days, extendable up to 180 days)

Visa in advance required:

  •  Cameroon
  •  Côte d’Ivoire
  •  Ghana
  •  Nigeria
  •  Kosovo
  •  North Korea
  •  Taiwan
  •  Syria

Entry restrictions:

  •  Afghanistan
  •  Iran
  •  Iraq
  •  Nigeria
  •  Pakistan
  •  Somalia
  •  Syria

Health insurance

It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance before you leave. Travel insurance can provide you with a wide range of coverage options that can help protect you financially in the event of unforeseen circumstances during your trip. This can include things like medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful and popular tourist destination, but like any other country, it is not immune to accidents and emergencies. Medical treatment abroad can be expensive no matter how rich your destination is, and having travel insurance can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you are covered in case of unexpected illness or injury.

Additionally, travel insurance can provide you with protection against trip cancellations or interruptions due to unforeseen circumstances such as severe weather or personal emergencies. By purchasing travel insurance, you can ensure that you are financially protected and can fully enjoy your trip to Sri Lanka without worry.

Currency

The currency used in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR). The rupee is divided into 100 cents.

You will get approximately 325 LKR for 1 USD, or 389 for 1 GBP. The exchange rate will vary da by day.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and money changers in Sri Lanka. Many hotels and tourist destinations also offer currency exchange services, but these may not offer the best exchange rates. It is important to note that it is illegal to change money with unlicensed money changers, and doing so can result in steep fines or even imprisonment.

Credit cards are widely accepted in larger establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and shops. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted cards, but it is always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases and in case of emergencies.

ATMs are also widely available in Sri Lanka, especially in urban areas, and they accept most major debit and credit cards. However, it is always advisable to inform your bank of your travel plans before departing to ensure that your cards will work abroad and to avoid any unexpected issues.

Culture and Etiquette

In Sri Lanka, etiquette plays a significant role in their daily lives. Sri Lankans are known for their warm hospitality and politeness, so it’s essential to follow their customs and traditions to show respect to their culture. One of the essential etiquettes is the dress code. Sri Lankans have conservative values, and it’s advisable to dress modestly when visiting religious sites or attending formal events. Shorts and sleeveless tops are not recommended in these places.

Another etiquette in Sri Lanka is the greeting. It’s customary to greet people with a smile and a slight bow of the head. Handshakes are acceptable, but it’s better to wait for the other person to initiate it. When addressing people, it’s polite to use their title and surname, especially in formal settings. It’s also customary to use honorifics such as “sir” or “madam” when speaking to older people or those in positions of authority.

In Sri Lanka, it’s important to show respect to elders and those in authority. It’s customary to stand up when an elder or a person in authority enters the room as a sign of respect. When eating, it’s important to use the right hand to handle food as the left hand is considered unclean. Additionally, it’s considered impolite to point your feet towards someone as it’s seen as a sign of disrespect. These etiquettes are essential in Sri Lanka, and it’s important to observe them to show respect to the local culture.

ETA Summary:

  • Maximum visit: 30 days
  • Multiple entries: 2 entires
  • Processing: 72 - 96 hours
  • Requires: Passport, email, card