Get a full list of the vaccines you need for Sri Lanka, and learn about the risk of diseases and the best ways to protect yourself while away.

Vaccinations for
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a popular tourist destination with a varied climate. There are different monsoon and rainy seasons on each coast of the island nation. The country has been declared malaria free, however, there have been outbreaks of dengue in recent years.


01. Vaccine list

The following list of vaccines are the official recommendations for travel to Sri Lanka. Which vaccines you need will depend on a variety of factors, including your medical history and the details of your trip.

Book an appointment online to get vaccinated at your local pharmacy. If you are unsure as to which vaccinations you require, book a phone consultation with one of our medical advisors, who will create a vaccine plan based on your needs.

Most travellers

Diphtheria, tetanus and polio

Anytime before arrival

Some travellers

Rabies

3 weeks before arrival*

Japanese encephalitis

2 weeks before arrival*

Typhoid

2 weeks before arrival

Hepatitis B

4 weeks before arrival*

Hepatitis A

Anytime before arrival

02. Malaria

Is there a risk of malaria in Sri Lanka?

There is no malaria risk in Sri Lanka. The country was declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization in 2016. Mosquito bite avoidance is always recommended. 

Do I need malaria tablets for Sri Lanka?

Antimalarials are not usually recommended for travel in Sri Lanka.

Malaria prevention in Sri Lanka

If you think you need antimalarials for your trip to Sri Lanka, speak to one of our medical prescribers in a free telephone consultation for a prescription.

03. Other health risks

There are food and water related risks for all travellers going to Sri Lanka. Travellers' diarrhoea, typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera, can all be transmitted through contaminated food and water.

Some diseases which are prevalent in Sri Lanka cannot be prevented with a vaccine, particularly mosquito-borne illnesses which can cause serious complications, and sometimes even be fatal. There is a risk of dengue throughout Sri Lanka.

COVID-19

Can I travel to Sri Lanka?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought most international travel to a standstill, with many borders around the world closed and travel restrictions have been imposed sometimes without notice.

The UK government currently advises against all non-essential international travel. There is a 10-day mandatory quarantine for anyone returning to the UK.

When will I be able to travel to Sri Lanka?

It is difficult to know when international travel will be possible. Find out more about when you can travel again.

What are the travel restrictions in Sri Lanka?

Entry to Sri Lanka is currently prohibited for all non-nationals. There is a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving in the country. A negative COVID-19 test must also be presented on arrival.

Be sure that you:

Zika

Is there a risk of Zika in Sri Lanka?

There have been no officially documented cases of Zika transmission in Sri Lanka.

Zika prevention

The Zika virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes, most commonly appearing during daylight hours in cities. There is also a low risk you can catch Zika through sexual activity with a person infected by the disease.

For most people, other than pregnant women, it is a very mild infection and is not harmful. Symptoms may include a rash, itchy skin and red, painful eyes.

Dengue

Is there a risk of dengue in Vietnam?

There is a risk of dengue in all of Sri Lanka, particularly in urban areas. There is no vaccine for Dengue, so mosquito bite avoidance is recommended.

Read more

04. Risk areas

Depending on the activities of travellers and length of stay, the following areas can carry the risk of certain diseases. Book a free consultation for specific advice on which diseases you may be at risk of during your travels.

Urban areas

There is a risk of dengue everywhere in Sri Lanka, particularly in urban areas. There have been recent outbreaks of dengue in Colombo, Jaffna and Gampaha.

05. Precautions

Mosquitoes

Some mosquito-borne illnesses cannot be prevented by a vaccine or medication, so it is therefore essential that you take the right precautions to avoid getting bitten during your stay in Sri Lanka.

Read more

Food and water

If you are visiting friends or relatives in Sri Lanka or are a long-stay traveller, you are at increased risk of consuming contaminated food and drinks, and you should therefore be extra careful.

Read more

06. Healthcare in Sri Lanka

Is healthcare in Sri Lanka good?

Sri Lanka has a free universal healthcare system which is accessible across the country, and the standard of care is better than the regional average. The standard of private healthcare in Sri Lanka is very good.

It is essential that you get health insurance for your trip to Sri Lanka.

Useful contacts

British High Commission Colombo The British High Commission Colombo can provide assistance, while you are there, in case you may need it. You can reach them by calling +94 11 5390639.

Local emergency medical services For emergencies needing medical assistance, dial either +94 110 or +94 11 2422222, which will connect you to the ambulance and fire brigade services.

Medical facilities and practitioners In the case that you may get ill while in Sri Lanka, in order to find reputable medical help quickly, the British High Commission Colombo has put together a list of medical facilities and practitioners in Sri Lanka.

07. How to book your travel vaccinations

If you already know which vaccinations you need, you can book a vaccination appointment at your local pharmacy.

If you would like to discuss your specific requirements with a medical advisor, book a free telephone consultation. A Practio nurse will give an individual assessment of your needs and recommend a suitable vaccination programme.

08. Travel checklist for your trip to Sri Lanka

  • Check if you need vaccinations Book an appointment at your local pharmacy at least 6 to 8 weeks before travel to get vaccinations for Sri Lanka

  • Mosquito protection Ensure you have everything you need to minimise your chance of mosquito bites while in Sri Lanka, including DEET insect repellent

  • Travel vaccination certificate A travel vaccination certificate may be required upon entry in Sri Lanka, however requirements are subject to change. Verify before travelling whether they apply to you

  • Travel insurance If you become ill in Sri Lanka and did not receive the right vaccinations before you left, your travel insurance can become void. So, make sure to check before you leave

  • Note useful contact numbers List important contacts to take with you in case of an emergency in Sri Lanka

Content reviewed by

Fuad Hussain, Pharmacist Prescriber
05 February 2021

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