Following the Sri Lanka suicide bomb attacks, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 2 travel advisory. Then just days later, the travel advisory was increased to a Level 3 “Reconsider Travel to Sri Lanka”. The Level 3 warning came less than a day before a shootout between Sri Lankan police and suspected terroristswhich has left ten civilians (among whom were six children) and six suspected terrorists dead.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka. Terrorists may attack 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 Department of State ordered the departure of all school-age family members of U.S. government employees in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The Department also authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Sri Lanka due to the security environment.
Level 3 warning means that travel to Sri Lanka is very dangerous, but it is still short of the riskiest destinations included in Level 4.
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.
- 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.