Revised quarantine guidelines issued for returnees from overseas
March 18, 2021 06:38 pm
Director-General of Health Services has issued revised COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for all incoming passengers and tourists arriving in Sri Lanka from overseas.
The relaxed guidelines noted that they should receive the approval to enter the country from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and other relevant authorities or from Sri Lanka Tourism, respectively.
All travellers need to submit the filled Health Declaration Form to the staff of Airport Health Office at Health Counters at the arriving airport, it read further.
Key points in the guidelines for Sri Lankan citizens/dual citizens and foreign nationals:
• For passengers who have received the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine:
- They should arrive in the country after two weeks of completion of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Upon arrival, they should produce the original copy of the vaccination certificate together with a certified copy of English language translation if the certificate is not in English language, to the Airport Health Officer.
- They will be referred to a PCR test within 24 hours upon arrival (Day One) from a private or state sector laboratory approved by the Health Ministry.
- Once the test report is available, they will be released from the quarantine hotel or centre by issuing a discharge document mentioning the date of PCR sample collection and PCR test result.
- They should undergo repeat PCR on Day Seven after arrival to Sri Lanka from a private or state sector laboratory approved by the Health Ministry.
• For passengers who have not received the COVID vaccine or not completed the recommended doses of vaccination and arrive in Sri Lanka within less than two weeks of vaccination:
- If they are undergoing hotel quarantine (single or shared by family members), they will be referred to PCR testing on Day One and Day Seven.
- However, if they are under quarantine at a centre, they will be subjected to PCR testing on Day One and Day Ten.
- If both tests are negative, they will be released from the quarantine procedure, following the second PCR test.
Upon being discharged, all arrivals are required to arrange their own transport method to go to their respective residences from the quarantine hotel or centre.
Immediately upon arriving home, they should inform the area Medical Officer of Health (MOH) by telephone or email and produce the discharge document issued by the designated authority at the quarantine hotel or centre.
After informing the area MOH, the travellers, who have received both vaccine doses and obtained a negative PCR report on Day One of arrival, are not required to quarantine further.
For those who have not received the recommended vaccine doses, a balance home-quarantine period (out of 14 days) under the supervision of area MOH, is mandatory.
All PCR test results must be informed to the MOH attached to their respective residential area. If one of the PCR test results is positive, they should inform the MOH, and follow the treatment protocol of Health Ministry.
If febrile or display respiratory symptoms of COVID- 19 during the quarantine period, they should inform the relevant MOH.
In the meantime, separate guidelines issued for tourists arriving in the country have also been relaxed by the Director-General of Health Services.
They will be placed under quarantine at certified hotels for tourists, where a PCR test will be carried out within 24 hours upon arrival (Day One) by a Health Ministry-approved private sector laboratory team.
If they are febrile or display any respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 or if the PCR test results are positive, the relevant MOH in the area must be informed on the matter.
Key points in the guidelines for tourists arriving from overseas via Sri Lanka Tourism:
• For tourists who have received the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine and arriving after two weeks of completion of vaccination:
- Upon arrival, they should produce the original copy of the vaccination certificate together with a certified copy of English language translation if the certificate is not in English language, to the Airport Health Officer as well as to the hotel where they will be quarantined.
- If the results of PCR test carried out on Day One are negative, the tourists should stay in the same hotel until the completion of the 7th day. They are allowed to visit approved important sites in a biosecure bubble, from the date Day One PCR test report is available and up to seven days of arrival.
- Following the completion of seven days, they will undergo a repeat PCR test on the seventh day of arrival. If the test results are negative, these tourists will be allowed to leave the hotel and make their own travel arrangements with the travel agent, after getting the clearance from the area MOH.
• For tourists who have not received/completed the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine and arriving within less than two weeks of vaccination:
- If the tourist departs the country within less than fourteen days, the second PCR test must be carried out depending on the date of the departure. It is mandatory to have a negative PCR test at the time of departure.
- If the tourist stays for less than 96 hours in Sri Lanka, they will not be referred to an exit PCR test. However, an exit PCR test may be conducted depending on the requirement of their airline service or the country of destination.
- If the tourist stays for 14 days or more, the second PCR test should be conducted on the 11th or 14th day.
- Once the results of Day One PCR test are available and negative, the tourists will be allowed to visit the approved sites in a biosecure bubble.
- They should not change the hotels until 14 days are completed. If they are staying for more than 14 days, they can be released on the 14th day with negative PCR reports.