Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Colombo, Sri Lanka (April 10, 2020)

Location:  Maldives

Event:  COVID-19 in Maldives.  Updates are being sent daily for the benefit of new registrants in STEP.  New information is listed in Recent Updates.

Recent Updates:

  • For travelers wishing to depart Maldives, Edelweiss Airlines has scheduled a commercial flight departing April 19, 2020 and Qatar Airlines has scheduled a commercial flight departing April 21, 2020. These are the only known passenger flights scheduled to depart from Maldives at this time.  We strongly urge prospective travelers to contact the airlines immediately to reserve tickets.
  • The embassy advises those who wish to return to the United States to do so at the earliest possible opportunity. American citizens who require assistance to leave Maldives are requested to fill out this information form to help the Embassy get in contact with you.
  • Maldives has reported 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of April 10.

    Note:  Waiting and expecting to rely on an evacuation flight is not the best strategy.  Evacuation flights are not free-of-charge.  Frequently, evacuation flights cost more than commercial air travel.

The Maldives Ministry of Health has established a website, COVID-19 Local Updates,  to track the status of the disease and provide updates.  Families of individuals who are currently in quarantine and isolation facilities may contact the following hotlines to get updates on their status: +960-722-3541 and +960-729-0223.  These hotlines are staffed from 9am to 11pm Maldives time and have English speakers.

If an American Citizen is diagnosed with COVID-19, he or she is likely to be placed in mandatory quarantine in a local government hospital.  The Embassy is severely limited in its ability to visit individuals in Maldives.

On March 19, 2020, the Department of State issued a global Level 4 Health Advisory (Do Not Travel) advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo has suspended routine visa services.  For American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website https://lk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/ for additional information.

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.

Actions to Take:

Assistance:

  • U.S. Embassy – Colombo Sri Lanka
    +94 11-249-8500 phone
    +94 77-725-6307 phone (after hours emergencies)
    ColomboACS@state.gov