The tourists will play two behind-closed-doors Test matches at Galle International Cricket Stadium on 14-18 January and 22-26 January.
The touring part will depart on 2 January and will also be without fast-bowler Jofra Archer, who is being rested, and Surrey batsman Rory Burns due to the impending birth of his child, but Bairstow will be involved.
The wicket-keeper and batsman has played 70 Tests for England but none since December last year. The 31-year-old impressed, however, in his country’s recent Twenty20 clean sweep against South Africa.
A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Stokes and Archer would return in February for the Test series against India, which was announced this week.
READ MORE: England to tour India in early 2021
Ollie Pope, who is recovering from a shoulder injury that he picked up against Pakistan in September, will join the squad as he continues his rehab ahead of the fixtures against India, the ECB added.
England this week abandoned their One-Day International tour of South Africa due to complications around Covid-19.
Judge Zak Yacoob, chairman of Crick South Africa’s interim board, has since accused England’s “negativity” of causing the tour to be scrapped, as opposed to concerns over the physical wellbeing of players and staff.
England Test squad:
Joe Root (Yorkshire) [captain], Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).
James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey).
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