To receive the most updated information available we recommend you monitor our social media and the website linked below:
We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. We are continuously assessing travel conditions in all areas affected by COVID-19, and will continue to update our travel advisories and safety information for U.S. travelers as the situation evolves.
U.S. Citizens in Sri Lanka and Maldives should:
- Monitor the Embassy’s website for the most up-to-date information
- Enroll in STEP at STEP.state.gov to receive the latest updates from the Embassy
- Follow the advice of the CDC and local health authorities that you can find at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
- Check with your airlines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Monitor the Department of State’s COVID-19 website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html
Is it true that there are flights going to the US?
Yes. There are still commercial flights available to the United States. U.S. citizens are encouraged to return to the United States and urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available. We strongly encourage travelers to depart as soon as possible as scheduled flights may be cancelled with little advance warning. Commercial options for travel to the United States are still available through Sri Lanka Airlines and Qatar Airways in Sri Lanka and Qatar Airways in Maldives. However, options are dwindling.
Should I wait to return to the U.S. until there is an evacuation flight?
No. There are no plans for evacuation flights out of Sri Lanka or Maldives. Travelers should depart as soon as possible via commercial air options
Are US-government sponsored evacuation flights free?
No. All passengers must by law sign a promissory note prior to boarding the evacuation flight. You will receive a bill after returning to the United States. While the exact cost of the flights has not been determined, the price should be comparable to a full-fare economy commercial flight available before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Are we going to get stopped if we travel to the airport?
The Sri Lankan government declared an island-wide curfew as of 2 p.m. on March 26, 2020. Travel to the airport for ticketed passengers will be permitted. However, travelers will need to use alternate routes due to the closure of expressways. Travelers should be prepared to show their passports and airline tickets at checkpoints.
The government of Sri Lanka has established hotlines for tourists who are facing problems scheduling transportation to the airport for departure:
- +94 (011) 244-4480
- +94 (011) 244-4481
- +94 (011) 597-8730
- +94 (011) 597-8734
- +94 (011) 597-8720