The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, due to ongoing political and economic instability. This advice does not apply to airside transit through Sri Lanka’s international airport.

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Several incidents took place on 9 May involving violence against peaceful protesters, including in the Galle Face area in Colombo, where the security authorities used tear gas and water cannons. Incidents also took place near Beira Lake in Colombo, Kandy, and in other parts of the country, resulting in injuries and loss of life. Further incidents could take place.

If Youyou are in Sri Lanka at this time, or considering travel, you should avoid all protests and follow the advice of local authorities.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has confirmed that international travellers can use their passports and airline tickets as curfew passes to travel to and from the airport.

Strike action has been called by Trade Unions for an indefinite period. This may cause disruption to public services, including transport. Flights and airport operations continue to operate.

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.

The economic situation is deteriorating in Sri Lanka 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 groceryshops stores,and gassupermarkets, fuel stations, and pharmacies. LocalThere authoritiesare mayongoing imposedaily thepower rationingcuts ofdue electricity,to resultingelectricity in power outages.rationing.

There have been a number of protests since 31 March 2022. AFurther State of Emergency was declared on 6 May. There are reports that further protests are likely to take place across the island. The Government of Sri Lanka may impose local restrictions 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.

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Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel restrictionsabroad mayand alsoreturn beto imposedEngland, atScotland, shortWales notice.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 pre-travel health registrations, mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance, 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 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.