Reissued with updates to the Travel Advisory Level.
Exercise increased caution in Sri Lanka due to fuel and medicine shortages, civil unrest, and terrorism.
Sri Lanka is experiencing shortages of imported goods, including fuel, food, and medicine due to the ongoing economic situation in the country. This has led to long lines at gas stations, but a fuel rationing system has helped to alleviate the situation. Public transportation has at times been limited or curtailed. Disrupted supply chains have caused food and medicine shortages, especially in remote areas, but most hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, and private hospitals have supplies. Limited duration power outages occur frequently, but most tourist facilities have backup generators. Protests over the economic situation could erupt at any time. In some instances, police have used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters. Travelers should monitor local media for updates on the ongoing situation.
Terrorist attacks have occurred in Sri Lanka, with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, hospitals, and other public areas.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in remote areas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Sri Lanka has an unknown level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Sri Lanka:
- Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Sri Lanka.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.