UK, New Zealand issue travel advisory on SL

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Due to the impact of the current economic crisis, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK on 5 July advised against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka. This recommendation does not apply to airside transit via Sri Lanka’s international airport, the statement said.

According to the statement, Sri Lanka is experiencing a severe economic crisis, which has resulted in shortages of basic necessities such as medicines, cooking gas, fuel, and food. Fuel (diesel and gasoline) is in short supply affecting transportation, businesses, and emergency services. Electricity rationing causes daily power outages. As a result, there have been protests and violent unrest. More protests, demonstrations, roadblocks and violent unrest are possible at any time.

New Zealand also advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Sri Lanka due to the impacts of the economic crisis and the potential for civil unrest. The New Zealand Government added that Sri Lanka’s economic situation has deteriorated significantly in recent months. “This has led to shortages of such basic necessities, causing long queues in a range of shops, including supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies. There is a critical shortage of fuel (diesel and petrol).

There may be significant difficulties or delays obtaining fuel, food deliveries, taxis, ride-share services and public transport as well as delays in accessing emergency services, due to fuel shortages. Travellers should ensure they have transport plans and contingency plans in place ahead of any journeys to or around Sri Lanka. Local authorities have also imposed rationing of electricity, which has resulted in lengthy power outages. There have recently been large protests, demonstrations and political rallies relating to Sri Lanka’s economic and political crisis. There is increased Police and military presence in the streets, especially around queues. There has also been some violence at some queuing sites,” the statement said. 

(SRM)