Coronavirus: UK repatriation flight to operate for tourists stuck in Sri Lanka

British tourists stuck in Sri Lanka amid coronavirus restrictions have been offered the chance to catch a flight home.

Direct air links from the UK have been suspended for almost two weeks as the Sri Lankan government takes measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including a nationwide curfew.

However, Sri Lankan Airlines will operate one flight to London on April 7 before suspending services until at least April 21, the Foreign Office revealed.

“If you are visiting Sri Lanka, you are strongly advised to leave now, while commercial means are available,” the FCO said in updated travel advice.

“Qatar Airways services have been reduced to one flight per day to Doha. We do not know how long that service will continue.

“Airlines operating via the United Arab Emirates, including Emirates Airlines and Etihad, have suspended flights out of Colombo indefinitely.

“Some airlines are changing flight schedules with little prior notice. You should keep in close contact with your airline or travel agent.”

Visitor visas are being extended to May 12 for those Britons still in the country.

But the FCO said: “A small number of tourists have reported problems with hotels trying to cancel bookings made by foreign visitors, and some incidents of harassment.

“Speak to your travel agent about any accommodation booking problems, and report any incidents of harassment to the police first and then to the British High Commission.

“The [Sri Lankan] government has confirmed that airport tickets can be used as a curfew pass to travel to the airport. Your hotel or travel agency should be able to help book transport to the airport.

“The government has established a helpline for tourists (1912) who are facing problems booking taxis to the airport for departure.

“A number of taxi and tourism companies continue to operate airport runs, but will require advance booking.

“Colombo airport authorities have announced that only passengers will be allowed onto the airport premises.”

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