Foreign travel advice

Sri Lanka

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Terrorism

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners such as hotels, tourist sites and places of worship. Avoid crowded public places, large gatherings and demonstrations, and follow the advice of local authorities.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

On 21 April 2019, bombs were used to attack 3 churches and 3 hotels in Sri Lanka: in central Colombo; in the northern suburb of Colombo Kochchikade; and in Negombo roughly twenty miles north of Colombo; and in the east of the country in Batticaloa. More than 250 people were killed, including 8 British nationals.

Security has been stepped up across the island. The Sri Lankan authorities have made a number of arrests in relation to the attacks.

If you 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.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.