After more than three months of curfew Sri Lankan government left the curfew on June. The country is now functioning as usual without a clear risk of a second covid 19 chain developing. Number of cases identified each day is very low (According to the live statistic dashboard of official website of Sri Lanka health promotion bureau) Schools, universities, public institutions and government offices are functioning as usual. So, as everything is happening well here in Sri Lanka, the tourism ministry announced the government is reopening the country for tourists from 1st of August. But, there will be very strict rules and regulations for them to avoid virus spreading.
We know you love Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans love you too. But, for your safety and for the safety of your beloved Sri Lanka you have to follow some guidelines if you are visiting Sri Lanka. In brief the government made following announcements,
“While this may be inconvenient it is essential to safeguard everybody and provide peace of mind,” the ministry said.
(Source of information – www.thejakartapost.com)
Sri Lanka is always happy to welcome you. But, if you have any problem about visiting the country or after your visit you can contact one of following government organisations to get information and support. You can also get updates on contact details from the official COVID-19 page of Sri Lankan Government.
Sri Lanka tourism promotion bureau is a government agency functioning under the Ministry of tourism and aviation. They promote information and advises on what activities are available on Sri Lanka for tourists, what festivals are ongoing and suggestions on tour literariness. From their website you can find very valuable information to plan a whole trip from places to visit to food and accommodation.
Tourism development authority is the government authority tasked with planning, development, regulation, and policy implementation of tourism and related industries. From their website you can find rules and regulations for tourists, tourist guides and drivers. The authority has also published a full guiding document to explain every single detail to the people who are willing to visit Sri Lanka after COVID-19.
You can download the PDF Sri Lanka tourism operational guidelines with health protocols version 1 from here.
You can view the latest news, contact information to booking details from the official government website.
|Police Unit||Location||Contact Number|
|Police Tourist Division||Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management Building
No. 78, Galle Road
|+94 11 242 1070 +94 71 859 1895|
|Anuradhapura||Tourist Police Post
|+94 11 313 3686 +94 71 449 1068|
|Polonnaruwa||+94 27 222 2222 +94 27 222 2225 +94 27 222 2226|
|Kandy||Tourist Police Post
|+94 81 383 7392 +94 71 445 9734|
|Mount Lavinia||Tourist Police Post
|+94 11 273 8351|
|Sigiriya||Tourist Police Post
|+94 66 493 0327 +94 71 845 2810|
|Hikkaduwa – Narigama||Tourist Police Post
|+94 91 227 5554 +94 77 514 2320|
|Aluthgama – Moragalla||Tourist Police Post
|+94 34 227 6049 +94 71 770 8810|
|Arugam bay – Pothuvil||Tourist Police Post
|+94 11 308 1044|
|Negombo – Eththukala||Tourist Police Post
|+94 31 227 5555 +94 71 538 0071|
|Kalkuda – Pasikuda||Kalkuda Police Post||+94 065-2257707|
|Rambukkana – Pinnawala||Tourist Police Post
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Premises
|+94 76 719 5607|
Sri Lankan government has submitted a full guideline document for tourists. (You can download it from here) This document include following sections,
Under this part of this article you can find the brief summery of all of above sections. (Read this section carefully.)
To obtain online visa you will have to provide few documents,
The travel insurance should cover health and hospitalisation during the entire stay. You cannot stay at any hotel or place of your friend or a place you find through social medias. You must choose a SLTDA registered and safe and secure certified accommodation. During the Visa process you must provide the reservation information to verify where you will be staying during your visit.
After arriving at CMB airport you will have to provide all the necessary information to the immigration officers and the government health officials. You need to provide a negative PCR report issued by an accredited lab. The report should be taken 72 hours prior to the landing in Sri Lanka.
After you arrive at Sri Lanka again you will have to face a PCR test at the airport. The test is free of charge and after the negative confirmation for COVID-19 you can enter the country. A repeat test will be conducted 5 to 7 days after the arrival for everyone. If any tourist develop respiratory disease symptoms they will also have to go through a PCR test as soon as possible.
You can visit the Official covid 19 dashboard of Health ministry to discover real time statistics. You can also use www.worldometers.info to access live data about COVID-19.
According to the health promotion bureau the top 5 districts are Colombo, Gampaha, Puttalam, Kaluthara and Kandy. 150 patients were found in Colombo district, thirty six in Gampha district , Thirty five in Puttalama district, Thirty four in Kaluthara district and Thirteen in Kandy district.
Comparing to the other provinces the population density in the western province is very high. That might be a reason why the western province have more infected people than other areas. However out of the 2081 of reported cases ( as on 8th July 2020) majority of the people were Sri Lanka Navy officers and soldiers from Walisara Camp.
As in the second week of July 7 months after identifying the first Covid infected person in Sri Lanka, only 2,077 cases were confirmed. According to the health promotion bureau the recovery rate in Sri Lanka is 92.3% while the global recovey rate is 57.39%. Sri Lanka is also reporting a very low fatality rate comparing to the world statistics. Fatality rate in Sri Lanka is 0.53% (Eleven deaths confirmed.) while the global fatality rate is 4.6%. Therefor Sri Lanka successfully managed the covid 19 pandemic inside the country.
As in March Sri Lankan Army built more than forty five quarantine centres to send any COVID-19 suspect people. (Source Wikipedia) Unlike in many other countries the Sri Lankan quarantine centres are clean and safe with all the essential facilities such as WIFI, TV, bathrooms, good food, etc. Once a COVID-19 patient is identified the government agents seek and discover any possible contacts that may have got exposed to the patient and they will be either send to a quarantine centre or will be instructed to self quarantine. All returning Sri Lankans from COVID countries were quarantined for 14 days to make sure they are COVID-19 free.
Sri Lanka’s ground level health sector is empowered with qualified and educated PHI (Public health inspector) officers. Ineach administrative area atleast a one public health inspector is monitoring the area. They know the area well and they are working with all other government officials such as law enforcement, medical professionals, administrative officers (Each area has an administrative officer called Grama niladhari) to avoid any possible infection chances.
These officers also monitor all the public gathering places to make sure the places are following the guideline to avoid the spreading of COVID-19.
So, Sri Lanka is safer than most other countries to visit.
All Sri Lankans are well aware about the ongoing situation and following the guidelines issued by the government. Police make it mandatory to wear a mask when travelling. (Source –NewsFirst) So, All the people are wearing masks and some are even wearing gloves and face shields to avoid getting infections. No matter where you go. Temples, shopping malls, shops, banks, government institutions, the security officers measure the body temperature of each person enter a building. If someone’s body temperature is above the normal limits the security officers will not allow them to pass through.
At the entrance of all public places there are places to wash hand either with a sanitiser soap or sanitiser alcohol. In most places security officers are monitoring these sanitiser hand wash areas and no one will be allowed to trans pass without cleaning their hands.
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, call the free COVID-19 advisory hotline established by the ministry of health. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t even go to a general hospital. Stay in the hotel and avoid contact with other people and call 1390 tall free number and a qualified doctor will assist you to understand your situation. Then the health officials will take care of you safely.
This service is totally free and will not cost even a call charge. This service is available in three languages. Sinhala, Tamil and English. So, you don’t need to worry about language barriers. Also, for other medical emergencies you can contact the free ambulance service with para medics by calling tall free 1990.
The health service director general Dr. Anil Jasingha said “hotline has been established by the Ministry of Health as a measure to stop the spread of the corona-virus to doctors, nurses and other persons who unknowingly come into contact with individuals with minor symptoms.” (source – News.lk)
Insted of travelling to a hospital first contact the 1390. Explain your symptoms to a doctor and then the doctor will advice you what to do. You don’t need to panic. The doctors will verify the symptoms and if necessary they will dispatch an ambulance to admit you to a care unit.
The following methods were advised by the world health organisation to prevent the disease from spreading and to slow the transmission, (Source – World health organisation)
If you are planning of traveling or getting in to the crowded places you are more vulnerable of getting the SARS COV 2 virus. So, it is essential to keep an idea about what symptoms a covid-19 infected person can show. Also, if you are getting any of these symptoms it is very important to contact Sri Lankan health authorities via phone (call 1390) without going anywhere.
The world health organisation announced the symptoms of COVID-19 as following. ( Source -WHO.int )
If you are getting any of these symptoms call a qualified doctor. Use the tall free government health advisory number 1390 or call the ambulance service by dialling 1990 and explain the situation you are having. Do not leave your room or expose to any other personal around you.
If your travel partner is facing this issue then avoid direct contacts with he or she and call the emergency numbers immediately.
“On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.’ (World health organisation)