Sri Lanka: Australian government tells its citizens to 'reconsider your need to travel’

‘If you do travel, do your research and take a range of extra safety precautions,’ says new advice for tourists to island

Sri Lankan security personal stand guard outside St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade, Colombo, on Monday
Sri Lankan security personal stand guard outside St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade, Colombo, on Monday

As the death toll in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka rises, the Australian government has told citizens planning to visit the island to “reconsider your need to travel”.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra is telling prospective tourists to the Indian Ocean island: “Think seriously about whether you need to travel here due to the high level of risk.

“If you do travel, do your research and take a range of extra safety precautions, including having contingency plans.

“Check that your travel insurer will cover you.”

The “amber” status is the second-most serious, after “Do not travel”. Australia previously advised travellers to Sri Lanka to “exercise a high degree of caution.”

Sri Lanka now has the same security status as Algeria, Congo, Iran and North Korea.

Australia is the first western government to make such a move.

The UK Foreign Office warns now, as it did before Sunday’s bombings: “Terrorists are likely to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”

The US State Department is warning Americans: “Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka.” It says that the targets could include tourist locations, transport hubs, markets and shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and airports.

After the orchestrated and systematic attack that targeted Christians and tourists, the Sri Lankan government has imposed a curfew from 8pm to 4am for Monday night.

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