Sri Lanka

According to analysts, the Sri Lankan economy could contract by up to 4% in 2020. According to the Purchasing Managers Index compiled by the Central Bank, manufacturing activity has strongly rebounded in June, while services and tourism activity both remain weak.

As of 29 July, Sri Lanka's total number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 2,809. The planned reopening of schools has been postponed by a week to ensure the well-being of students amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Sri Lanka will hold a General Election in 2020, which has been twice postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Election day is now scheduled for 5 August. Postal voting began on 13 July.

Supply chain, logistics and freight

The Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka has put in an import e-clearance process from 4 May, and is only accepting electronically submitted import clearance documents and release electronic delivery advice and gate passes.

South Asia Gateway Terminals, the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) container terminal in Sri Lanka, has become the first terminal in the country to adopt blockchain technology. It collaborated with TradeLens, which is jointly developed by A. P. Moller - Maersk and IBM. This move will help the terminal transform from a manual paper-based system to a complete digital operation.


Starting from April 2020, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has introduced a paperless export documentation process for BOI exporters.


After a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka, the reopening of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for all incoming passengers has been pushed back to September 2020. Authorities were previously expecting to reopen the airport on 1 August.

Meanwhile, BIA has strengthened its baggage security screening facilities with new technology in compliance with the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the UK Department for Transport (DFT UK) and the US Transport Security Administration (TSA), as well as national security standards.

To avoid strain on quarantine centre capacity, the repatriation of Sri Lankans has been suspended until further notice.

Sector insights

As is to be expected, numerous sectors have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you'll find information on any COVID-19 effects across important sectors and industries in Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka is one of the top tourism destinations in Asia, and its tourism industry took a heavy hit from COVID-19 disruption. Based on Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority data, tourist arrivals fell by over 30% during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year.

A global tourism campaign for Sri Lanka, most recently scheduled to be launched in January 2021, has been put on hold once again until Sri Lankan tourism returns to its pre-pandemic levels. It was originally set to be launched in September this year but was delayed due to COVID-19.

Sri Lanka has released guidelines for a limited resumption of international tourism, originally to start on 1 August but now likely to be delayed. Under the guidelines, tourists entering Sri Lanka will be subject to repeated testing.

Visitors will need to carry a negative COVID-19 test report issued within 72 hours of arrival, undergo a second test at the airport upon arrival, and a further test within five to seven days or earlier of developing any respiratory symptoms. An additional test will be mandatory if the stay exceeds 10 days.

Other measures include a requirement to pre-book tour packages, the suspension of on-arrival visas, and a $100 visa fee aimed at discouraging backpacker travel.

Additional resources

Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.

New Zealand Government agencies
COVID-19 helpline for businesses
New Zealand Customs
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
New Zealand Export Credit (NZEC)
MFAT Export Helpline
MFAT Safetravel
Callaghan Innovation
Ministry of Health
WorkSafe New Zealand

Global agencies

World Health Organization (WHO)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.