Official Travel Advice for Sri Lanka
Summary - change to advice against travel; the FCO no longer advise against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 18 Jul 2019.
You need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. See Visas
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. More than 250 people including tourists were killed in April 2019 in terrorist attacks that targeted churches and hotels. See Terrorism
Security has been stepped up across the island and a State of Emergency remains in place.The authorities have announced emergency regulations that ban the wearing of clothing or objects that conceal the face in such a way that prevents the wearer’s identification. Travel within Sri Lanka may take longer than normal – you should check with your travel provider well in advance and allow extra time. If you’re travelling from Colombo Airport, check the latest advice from your airline or tour operator about check-in times. Some airlines are advising passengers to arrive early due to increased security screening.
The Sri Lankan Government continues to use curfews as part of ongoing security operations. Most recently these have been put in place at short notice, and some have been limited to specific areas. The Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that passengers with a passport and a valid flight ticket (including electronic ticket) can travel to the airport during curfew periods.
There were outbreaks of mob violence following the Easter attacks. These could happen again with little or no warning.
If you’re visiting or resident in Sri Lanka, you should continue to remain vigilant and keep up to date with developments, including via this travel advice. Take sensible precautions, familiarise yourself with security procedures at your hotel or accommodation and follow the advice of local authorities and hotel security staff. Avoid crowded public places, large gatherings and any demonstrations.
If you have witnessed or were affected by the April 2019 attacks in Sri Lanka, consult this guidance on support available to victims of terrorism. This includes a 24/7 support line, offering emotional support for anyone affected by an attack, and it is free to call.
Dengue fever occurs throughout the country. See Health
Sri Lanka can be affected by severe weather such as like tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. A general alert has been issued by the Centre for Disaster Management over the onset of the South Western Monsoon (check local advice before setting out. See Natural disasters
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Sri Lanka
Drive on the: left
Visitors/Tourists: 856,000 in 2011
Tamil (official language) 15%
Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Largest City: Colombo