NEW DELHI — The borders to India have been reopened, and fully vaccinated travelers will only require a negative polymerase chain reaction conducted 72 hours before the arrival and an on-arrival polymerase chain reaction test at a certified hotel, said the High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi, the capital of India.
“They will then be allowed to roam across the country freely,” said the Commission in a statement.
The statement also said that Sri Lankan Airlines will operate four weekly flights to Chennai, three to Mumbai, and one to Bengaluru under its new schedule and will introduce significant frequency enhancements.
Under the new schedules, the airline will be resuming services between Colombo and the Indian points; Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Trivandrum, and Cochin with flights once a week, while Hyderabad and New Delhi will be connected to Colombo with twice-weekly flights.
Further, the airlines’ operations out of Chennai and Mumbai will expand up to five times a week, while its Bangalore-Colombo services will be enhanced to flights three times a week. Sri Lankan Airlines has also commenced a buy one, get one free campaign to induce travelers to fly to Sri Lanka.
“We look forward to welcoming our closest neighbors yet again, so they may experience the variety that Sri Lanka has to offer,” said Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism.
“Our country’s heritage, culture, wildlife, nature, beaches, and more have always proven to be popular among Indian travelers, and they will be able to visit destinations across the country while following the relevant health guidelines.”
Sri Lanka has had a significant vaccination drive in the last few months and has one of the highest vaccination rates in Asia, the Commission said.
“The current protocol states any vaccination type accepted by the country of origin will also be accepted here,” it said in the statement.
“Children under the age of 18 who have not received vaccination will be able to follow their vaccinated parents on the same itinerary and will have to undergo a second test if they complete more than 10 days in Sri Lanka. The full list of guidelines can be accessed at the Sri Lanka Tourism Portal.”
“The relaxed guidelines are extremely clear, and we invite all travelers and travel agents to visit the portal to learn more about pre-arrival procedures, insurance, and more.”
India has historically been one of the top two markets to Sri Lanka due to the proximity, flight connectivity, and diversity that Sri Lanka offers. Given the high volume of visitors that other countries saw immediately upon opening, the same intensity of booking is expected of the island nation.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra