Sri Lanka Travel Advice

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Sri Lanka travel: What is the advice?

Written: 26th April, 2019

For foreign nationals currently within Sri Lanka, as well as those with existing plans to travel to the island, find out the latest travel advice following recent events.

What is the situation?

Security has been stepped up across Sri Lanka, an island country in South Asia, following the bombings on the 21 April 2019. The security situation is still evolving, with security operations still ongoing. Night-time curfew remains in place.


What are governments advising?

The United States

Following the attacks, on the 21st of April the Bureau of Consular Affairs raised the travel advisory alert in Sri Lanka from a level 1 to a level 2. This alert is still ongoing on 26/04/19.

A level 2 alert advises that increased caution be exercised:

Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

Level 2: Exercise increased caution

Level 3: Reconsider travel

Level 4: Do not travel

Stay Travel Aware

The Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) is the public face of the Department of State, responsible for the welfare and protection of U.S. citizens abroad. For the latest advice on travel in Sri Lanka, keep checking the official website and follow on social media, on Twitter and Facebook.

US citizens are also advised to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrolment Program (STEP), which allows travellers to receive alerts, as well as making it easier to locate you in an emergency.

If you require urgent consular assistance, call the U.S. Embassy in Columbo on +94 11 249-8500


The United Kingdom

Following the attacks, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are advising against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka. This alert is remains ongoing on 26/04/19.

Stay Travel Aware

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is responsible for protecting and promoting the interests of British citizens abroad. For the latest travel advice, keep checking the official website and follow on social media, on Twitter and Facebook.

UK citizens can sign up to email alerts, whereby you will receive an email each time the Sri Lanka travel advice is updated.

If you require urgent consular assistance, you can call the British High Commission in Colombo on +94 11 5390639


What are other Governments Saying?

Ireland: Citizens are being advised to exercise a high degree of caution.

Canada: Canada is advising against all but essential travel.

Australia: Australia is asking citizens to seriously consider whether you need to travel to Sri Lanka due to high risk level.

China: Chinese nationals are currently being advised not to travel to Sri Lanka.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong is suggesting travel plans be adjusted, and avoid non-essential travel (the second-highest level).

Israel: Israeli travellers are being advised to leave Sri Lanka as soon as possible, and those planning to visit are advised to cancel (the second-highest level warning).


Already in Sri Lanka?

Both the UK and US governments are issuing the following advice:

Follow the advice of local security authorities and hotel security staff

Avoid travelling during periods of curfew (other than to/from the airport, see below)

Keep in touch with family and friends, ensuring they know of any plans you may have

Monitor local media for breaking events, keep on top of developments, and adjust plans accordingly


Flying from Sri Lanka

Bandaranaike International Airport, commonly known as Colombo Airport, is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. The airport is open and operating, but with increased security checks. The Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that passengers can travel to the airport during curfew periods, provided a passport and flight ticket for the day of travel can be presented. There are also arrangements in place for arriving passengers.

Be aware that travel within Sri Lanka could be subject to delays. Check with your travel provider in advance. Some airlines are advising passengers to arrive early for check-in, due to increased security screening.

If you’re in Sri Lanka and due to leave, or now wish to do so, remain in contact with your airline, tour operator and travel insurance company (if applicable).

If you choose to remain in Sri Lanka, then you should check that your insurance policy provides adequate cover.



Have you made a booking through Alternative Airlines?


Alternative Airlines has a dedicated customer service team and is on hand to help if you have made a flight reservation through our website which is due to arrive or depart from Sri Lanka: