In Brief

Sri Lanka travel advice: UK warns against all but essential visits

Foreign Office says further attacks likely and US issues warning to avoid places of worship

The UK is advising against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday bombings in which about 250 people died.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said terrorists are very likely to attempt further attacks, including at sites visited by tourists. The advice will remain “under close and constant review”, according to Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, who expressed hope that “the situation will return to normal very soon”.

Last night Sri Lankan authorities revised down the death toll from the attacks by about 100, to 253. Eight Britons were among those killed by nine bombers who struck at churches and hotels. More than 500 people were injured.

Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, told the Associated Press he believes many of the attackers are still at large. “We have rounded up a lot of suspects but there are still active people on the run,” he said. “They may be having explosives with them, so we have to find them.”

Travel warning

The Foreign Office said it issues travel warnings in situations of extreme and imminent danger and where the threat is sufficiently specific, large-scale or endemic to affect British nationals severely.

Its announcement came shortly after the US Embassy in Sri Lanka tweeted a warning that people should avoid “places of worship” in Sri Lanka this weekend because of possible extremist attacks.

The official advice means insurance policies “may not provide cover [for] travel to Sri Lanka in the foreseeable future”, says Sky News. The Daily Telegraph reports that officials are advising people currently on holiday there to consult with their travel providers and insurers “to arrange a timely departure from the island”.

Tourism is a “major source of income” for Sri Lanka, says The Guardian. In the past decade, the industry has been recovering after the end of the 26-year civil war between the government and Tamil Tigers. In 2009, 448,000 foreign visitors went to the country, a figure that had risen to more than two million per year by 2016. 

Recommended

Putin and Russia’s territorial ambitions
A large column of Russian military vehicles and troops move in the direction of the Crimean capital of Simferopol in February 2014
Getting to grips with . . .

Putin and Russia’s territorial ambitions

‘Cabinet angry at defending Johnson again’
Today’s newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Cabinet angry at defending Johnson again’

No. 10 tells Peter Andre: siestas wouldn’t work here
Peter Andre on stage
Tall Tales

No. 10 tells Peter Andre: siestas wouldn’t work here

Grey squirrels could run up £37m tree bill
A grey squirrel
Tall Tales

Grey squirrels could run up £37m tree bill

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

What happened to Logan Mwangi?
Tributes left to Logan Mwangi
Today’s big question

What happened to Logan Mwangi?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

The Week Footer Banner