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UK issues travel advisory on Sri Lanka

May 13, 2022 10:47:16 PM - colombogazette.com

The United Kingdom has issued a travel advisory on Sri Lanka warning against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said that it advises against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, due to ongoing political and economic instability.

This advice does not apply to airside transit through Sri Lanka’s international airport.

A State of Emergency has been declared and an island-wide curfew is in place.

Several incidents took place on 9 May involving violence against peaceful protesters, including in the Galle Face area in Colombo, where the security authorities used tear gas and water cannons. Incidents also took place near Beira Lake in Colombo, Kandy, and in other parts of the country, resulting in injuries and loss of life. Further incidents could take place, the FCDO said.

“If you are in Sri Lanka at this time, or considering travel, you should avoid all protests and follow the advice of local authorities,” FCDO said.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has confirmed that international travellers can use their passports and airline tickets as curfew passes to travel to and from the airport.

“The economic situation is deteriorating in Sri Lanka with shortages of basic necessities including medicines, cooking gas, fuel and food because of a shortage of hard currency to pay for imports. There may be long queues at shops and supermarkets, fuel stations, and pharmacies. There are ongoing daily power cuts due to electricity rationing,” FCDO said.

There have been a number of protests since 31 March 2022. Further protests are likely to take place across the island. The Government of Sri Lanka may impose local restrictions at short notice.

FCDO urged British citizens to be vigilant, avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings, and follow the advice of the local authorities. (Colombo Gazette)