Further to the devasting attack that killed more than 300 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, travellers who had booked to travel there in the coming days and weeks are contemplating whether it is still safe to travel to the island.
Today, the Foreign Office provided their travel advice which said:
“Terrorists are very likely to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
Security has been stepped up across the island and there are ongoing security operations. This has included controlled explosions of suspicious packages and vehicles, and temporary evacuations of buildings.
These may continue for several days. Follow the advice of local security authorities, hotel security staff and your tour company.”
Can you still travel to Sri Lanka?
Australia were first to raise the alert status for Sri Lanka and is urging its citizens who are planning to visit the island to “reconsider their need to travel”.
As of Thursday 25th April 2019, the Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka. Please stand by for further updates or visit the Foreign Office website for more information. Some travel companies and airlines like Emirates are offering customers the opportunity to amend or cancel their bookings (if they were made before Easter Sunday)
Qatar Airways are also offering some flexibility to passengers booked to travel to or from Sri Lanka up to the end of April.
They said:” We appreciate that some passengers may wish to change their immediate travel plans. To address such requests and give flexibility to our customers, Qatar Airways will permit customers to make changes free of charge.”
What options are available for travellers who are currently in Sri Lanka?
ABTA, the travel association, says its members “are in close contact with customers currently in Sri Lanka, and are offering any support or assistance they may need”.
Colombo airport remains open but has advised that departing passengers must arrive four hours ahead of their flights due to enhanced security checks.
If you are in Sri Lanka and have been directly affected by the attacks, please contact the British High Commission in Colombo: +94 11 5390639
If you’re in the UK and are worried about British friends or family in Sri Lanka call 020 7008 1500 and follow the automated message.