International travel can get complicated these days. The COVID19 pandemic has limited the number of countries travelers can visit. And even if you can visit a country, you’ll be faced with quarantine and strict health protocols. Sri Lanka is now opening its borders without any quarantine using the bio bubble concept. It’s a creative approach that could potentially attract people who haven’t traveled for almost a year.
No Quarantine But with Certain Conditions
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando called this approach a “new concept”. Developed by the tourism authority, “bio bubble” allows tourists to roam around semi-isolated but without mixing with the local population.
Sri Lanka tested its bio bubble concept last December 2020 with Ukrainian tourists.
What are the rules for this bio bubble? For starters, it applies in the first two weeks. Next, there will be frequent COVID19 testing and tourists can only stay in approved hotels. Also, tourists can only visit tourist spots at specific times. Plus, they will need to come up with an independent mode of transportation. And most important, tourists can’t mingle with the local population.
After the first two weeks, tourists can interact with the local community and transfer to a different accommodation.
Bio Bubble Hotels and Villas
There are plenty of hotels to choose from for tourists arriving in Sri Lanka. There are 98 Level 1 hotels as of February 17. You can select from expensive hotels to budget villas near tourist destinations. Instead of being confined in the room, tourists can use facilities within the designated hotel including the beach.
Hotels only operate at 75% capacity to ensure that those who are going to have a positive COVID19 test can still isolate. However, this applies to asymptomatic tourists. Tourists who are showing symptoms must isolate themselves in a private hospital.
Multiple COVID19 Tests
If you have plans of traveling to Sri Lanka, be prepared to do at least two COVID19 tests. First, you’ll have to take the first mandatory test 96 hours before going to the country. You will then have to take another test after landing in Sri Lanka. The third test comes after five days while those staying longer than two weeks will take the fourth test.