Summary

The economic situation in Sri Lanka is challenging with shortages of basic necessities including medicines, cooking gas, fuel and food because of a shortage of hard currency to pay for imports. There may be long queues at shops and supermarkets, fuel stations, and pharmacies. There may be difficulties or delays obtaining food deliveries, taxis and other public transport. There are ongoing daily power cuts due to electricity rationing.

There have been a number of protests since 31 March 2022. There have been incidents involving violence against peaceful protesters resulting in injuries and loss of life. Security authorities have used tear gas and water cannons against protesters. There are ongoing protests in the Galle Road, Galle Face and Fort areas of Colombo. There have been protests and violent unrest at fuel stations. Further protests and violent unrest are likely to take place across the island. The Government of Sri Lanka may impose local restrictions including curfews at short notice. You should be vigilant, avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings, and follow the advice of the local authorities. Find out more in the Political situation section.

A State of Emergency in Sri Lanka has been lifted, however some military presence remains on the streets. Curfews may be imposed at short notice.

If you are in Sri Lanka at this time, or considering travel, you should check local information and stay away from protests.

COVID-19 entry restrictions for Sri Lanka

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Sri Lanka’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

If you’re planning travel to Sri Lanka, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section. You should also check the Entry requirements section for details on COVID-19 tests and how to demonstrate evidence of your vaccination status.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

Terrorists are 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

Dengue fever occurs throughout the country. See Health

Sri Lanka can be affected by severe weather including tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. 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.