Added 24th April 2019 - Current 21st May 2019
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. There have been significant casualties.
The Sri Lankan authorities have stepped up security across the island, declaring a nationwide State of Emergency and a night-time curfew. Security operations are ongoing, including controlled explosions of suspicious packages and vehicles, and temporary evacuations of buildings. These may continue for a number of days. If you’re in Sri Lanka or travelling in the coming days, you should:
- follow the advice of local security authorities:
- remain vigilant, avoid crowded public areas and gatherings/demonstrations;
- keep up-to-date with developments and avoid travelling during periods of curfew (other than to/from the airport - see below);
- follow the advice of hotel security staff, and keep in touch with your tour company;
- keep in touch with family and friends to let them know that you are safe. Note that access to social media may be restricted during the state of emergency.
Colombo Airport is operating, but with increased security checks and long queues for taxi pick-ups. The Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that passengers with a passport and flight ticket for the day of travel can travel to the airport during curfew periods. They have also confirmed that arrangements have been put in place for arriving passengers. Some airlines are advising their passengers to arrive early for check-in, in light of increased security screening. You should check with your airline about suggested check-in times. As above, follow the instructions of the local authorities.
You should follow any advice or instruction issued by the local authorities and the travel advice of your local Government:
STA Travel are monitoring this situation and updates will be added to this Travel Advice page.
Anyone with concerns about travel in this area should contact their Booking Store for advice.