Belfast Telegraph

Honeymooners make new plans after Foreign Office changes Sri Lanka advice

The Foreign Office is now warning against all non-essential travel to the country.

(Mike Egerton/PA)
(Mike Egerton/PA)

Engaged couples have been left scrambling to make new honeymoon plans after the Foreign Office advised against non-essential travel to Sri Lanka.

Around 250 people were killed in the Easter Bombings in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa, and terrorists are “very likely” to attack again, according to the updated Government advice.

Holidaymakers who have booked to travel to the country are now being urged to contact airlines, tour operators and insurers for more information.

With Sri Lanka a popular honeymoon destination, many couples, who had booked for post-wedding holidays in the coming weeks, have been forced to make alternative arrangements.

Abigail McKie, a specialist support worker from Doncaster, was due to travel to the country for a honeymoon in June with her fiance Alisdair Smith, but they are facing the prospect of rearranging the entire trip.

“I’ve cried quite a few times already,” she said. “It’s so frustrating. We’ve booked our train tickets and we’ve got our visas. It’s all booked, it’s all paid for.”

The couple had saved up £5,000 for a tour of Sri Lanka, with stops including Colombo, Kandy and the country’s Cultural Triangle, with a particular focus on seeing wildlife.

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(Abigail McKie)

“We’re quite adventurous and we don’t like staying in one place,” the 24-year-old said.

She said her travel agent is now advising the couple change the destination for the trip, which they had been planning for around a year.

“They’ve given us a few options like Borneo but to be honest we were so set on Sri Lanka,” she said.

Despite her frustration with the situation, she said she understood why the Foreign Office had changed its advice.

“They’re just trying to keep everyone safe and honestly my heart goes out to anyone that’s out there already or that was meant to be going sooner than we are,” she said.

“They’ve probably done the right thing but it’s hard to take.”

Travel trade organisation Abta said those booked to travel on a package holiday “imminently” would be offered the chance to postpone their trip, rearrange to an alternative destination or receive a refund.

Those who booked flights and accommodation separately were advised to talk to the individual companies or check with their insurers.

PA

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