Attacks in Sri Lanka: What Travelers Need to Know Now

Attacks in Sri Lanka: What Travelers Need to Know Now

April 24, 2019 0 By admin

Terrorism attacks in Sri Lanka

Policemen at Hotel Shangri-La in Colombo – one of the places of attack.

(Photo: AFP)

  • The Federal Foreign Office advises relatives to contact travelers by text message. The telephone networks are partly overloaded, Facebook and WhatsApp blocked.
  • Air passengers in Sri Lanka should arrive at the airport at Colombo four hours before departure.
  • The state of emergency was imposed. Trips to the airport are also possible with a nocturnal curfew.

After the attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday tourists should pay attention to several things. What you need to know now:

Important at Bandaranaike airport

Sri Lankan Airlines will ask Sri Lankan Airlines to arrive at the airport four hours prior to departure, if they are in Sri Lanka and plan to fly home from Bandaranaike near Colombo. The national airline is responsible for handling all passengers in Bandaranaike. According to the airline, the approach to the airport is also possible during a nocturnal curfew, as had been imposed in recent days. Passengers must identify themselves at checkpoints with a ticket and passport. Bandaranaike is one of two airports in Sri Lanka that are served by international air traffic. It is located about 35 km north of Colombo, where most of the attacks occurred.

This is recommended by the Foreign Office

The Federal Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for Sri Lanka. Tourists who are on the Southeast Asian island are advised to avoid public places and in particular places of attack, to keep track of local media, to maintain close contact with tour operators and airlines, and to follow instructions from the security forces. Since Tuesday, the state of emergency. It grants the security forces extended powers, such as for searches and the detention of persons.

Telephone and Internet connections in Sri Lanka are still overloaded, according to the Foreign Office. Travelers should let their loved ones know by SMS or conventional phone call that they are well. The Sri Lankan government has also blocked several social media such as Facebook and messenger services such as Whatsapp to prevent panic and the spread of misinformation.

That’s what the German tour operators say

According to official figures, more than 30 foreigners are among the victims of the attacks, including a German-Americans. Sri Lanka tourists from several major German tour operators have survived the attacks unscathed. The organizers Tui and DERtour announced on Monday that the guests, who are currently vacationing on the tropical island, had given the all-clear. You could reach all tourists.

DER Touristik currently claims to have a “tight four-digit” number of travelers in Sri Lanka. The Frankfurt-based company also has a few hotels on offer, which became the target. Help guests who want to leave prematurely with the organization, said a spokeswoman. About 150 holidaymakers are currently on a Tui trip on the island, according to a spokeswoman they wanted to continue their holiday there.

Sri Lanka tourists are not entitled to free cancellation after the attacks, nor is the fear of further attacks sufficient reason to cancel a planned trip to the island free of charge. This would require a travel warning from the German Foreign Office, or “force majeure” in the form of massive political unrest significantly affecting travel.

However, tour operators often deal with requests from customers. For example, several tour operators have announced that they will be able to meet the rebooking or cancellation requests of their customers in the case of upcoming trips to Sri Lanka. Alltours customers can cancel a holiday with arrival date until April 30, according to a spokesman free of charge. At DER Touristik the departure date is decisive: Holidays with departure until May 6 can be rebooked or canceled free of charge. Tui offers cancellations or rebookings to travelers up to and including April 29, FTI applies this option for arrivals up to and including April 28, a spokeswoman said. For holidaymakers who arrive later, check transfer options. Travelers with Thomas Cook can rebook or cancel bookings until 2 May for free. Here, too, the requests are to be checked individually for later arrivals. Studiosus offers free bookings or cancellations for bookings departing in April and May. For all trips that begin later in the year, there is currently no possibility, it was said. According to the current state of knowledge, it is assumed that all trips starting from summer can be carried out according to plan.

“We have to do something”

In the Washington Post, US actress Angelina Jolie and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas call for a crackdown on sexual violence in crisis areas. Maas today chairs a UN meeting on the subject.

By Isabel Pfaff, Bern, and Barbara Galaktionow

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