The Federal Council has called on Swiss travelers to return to their permanent place of residence in Switzerland or abroad. With increasing numbers of international flights cancelled and travel/ transit restrictions in place, this call has become urgent. For Swiss travelers in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, now is the time to heed this appeal and to contact your airline, travel agency or travel insurance to organize the return journey.
In view of the extraordinary circumstances, we urge non-resident Swiss citizens in Sri Lanka and the Maldives to register on "Itineris" and keep the information updated at all times. This will allow the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo to contact them when needed.
Return flights to Switzerland
In countries where commercial flights are no longer available, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA has started a program to charter planes for selected destinations throughout the world, in order to help Swiss citizens return to their homes in Switzerland.
At the moment, Qatar Airways is still offering possible flight connections out of Sri Lanka (from Colombo via Doha to Zurich) and the Maldives (from Malé via Doha to Zurich). This information is not exhaustive and may change at any time. Accordingly, the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo cannot assume any liability in relation to this information and advises travelers to always check with the airline or travel agencies prior to booking a ticket.
Swiss Travelers in Sri Lanka should register on "Itineris" / TravelAdmin App. The data collected will facilitate the evaluation of the presence of Swiss citizens in the respective countries.
PLEASE NOTE that no FDFA special flights from Sri Lanka or the Maldives to Switzerland are planned nor confirmed at this time.
Citizens of Switzerland and Liechtenstein can contact the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo for further queries.
In an emergency, the FDFA Helpline can be contacted around the clock.
All Swiss citizens in Sri Lanka and the Maldives are advised to follow the instructions and recommendations of the respective local authorities.
Important information for Swiss travellers in Sri Lanka and the Maldives
If you are currently travelling abroad, you are asked to contact the airline immediately for information concerning the return journey to Switzerland. Also make sure you are registered on Itineris or the TravelAdmin App so that you can be contacted by the relevant Swiss Embassy in an emergency.
Furthermore, we would like to inform you that many airlines have reduced their flight operations on certain routes. Airlines usually having scheduled flights from Colombo to Zurich or Geneva are:
- www.flyedelweiss.com (local representative contact details: Ms Sureeka Fernando, firstname.lastname@example.org, +94 (77) 342 7828)
Please contact the airlines directly in order to find out if they are still operational for the flights from Colombo to Switzerland.
Also, please visit the following webpages regularly for updates on flights out of Sri Lanka and the Maldives:
- www.caa.lk (Sri Lankan Civil Aviation Authorities)
- www.sltda.gov.lk (Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority)
- www.caa.gov.mv (Maldivian Civil Aviation Authorities)
- www.iata.com (International Air Traffic Association)
The Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo is in close contact with the Sri-Lankan and Maldivian authorities to find solutions to the concerns of Swiss travelers. The possibilities of the Embassy to support the outward and/or onward journey are unfortunately limited in view of the current global situation.
COVID-19: Important announcement for Swiss citizens in Sri Lanka and the Maldives
The ongoing spread of the new coronavirus has led many governments around the world to take action and stringent measures.
In Switzerland, the Federal Council has categorized the situation as extraordinary under the terms of the Epidemics Act and enacted a broad set of measures. The Swiss Government calls on everyone to act responsibly and in solidarity. Follow the developments in Switzerland
Many countries have imposed entry and exit restrictions and more and more airlines are reducing their flights. Based on the available information as of now, we can share the following:
Practical advices for Swiss travelers
Please note that on 16 March 2020, the Swiss government has called on Swiss travelers to return to Switzerland.
Swiss tourists are recommended to contact their airline or travel agency for information concerning their return flight to Switzerland.
Concerned Swiss citizens shall follow the instructions and directives of the Sri Lankan and Maldivian government and contact the respective national, provincial and local authorities in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The Embassy of Switzerland is in close exchange with the Sri Lankan and Maldivian authorities. Currently, we are in contact with many Swiss and lend support where possible. If you have further questions, please direct your inquiry to email@example.com or call +94 (11) 269 5117. Further, you may also contact the Helpline of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Tel. +41 800 24-7-365 / +41 58 465 33 33).
For questions in relation to travel plans and travel restrictions, please consult with the national authorities, airlines and travel agencies.
For health related questions or needs, please consult with your physician, hospital and the local authorities. For Swiss sources, you may consult information of the Federal Office of Public Health FHPO. The FHPO has a hotline, available 24/7, for your questions: +41 58 463 00 00.
Swiss citizens who have arrived to Sri Lanka between March 1 to 15, 2020, have to register with the police authorities. This can be done locally at the police station or by phone by dialing +94 11 244 4480, +94 11 244 4481,+94 11 597 8720, +94 11 597 8730, +94 11 597 8734.
Visa extensions due to COVID19 for tourists stranded in Sri Lanka can be obtained at the Immigration office in Battaramulla on April 8-9, 2020. More information
The Maldivian authorities have also severely restricted inbound travels. Many flights have been cancelled, although outbound flights are still functioning. Swiss tourists are advised to contact the travel agencies and/or the airlines directly in order to have updated information.
The authorities in the Maldives have activated a 24-hour toll-free hotline – 1676