Travel News

Foreign Office lifts ‘all but essential travel’ warning for Sri Lanka

The UK’s Foreign Office (FCDO) at present lifted its warning towards “all but essential travel” to Sri Lanka.

From 16 May till Friday, the FCDO’s recommendation for Sri Lanka had been: “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) now advises against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, due to ongoing political and economic instability.”

The removing of this assertion means holidaymakers can as soon as once more e-book journeys to the Indian Ocean island with out concern of their journey insurance coverage insurance policies being invalidated.

The warning was put in place in mid-May following a collection of violent clashes and protests within the face of a nationwide financial disaster.

A state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka on 6 May; the next week, protesters set fireplace to houses and companies belonging to ruling get together lawmakers and politicians. Eight folks died within the unrest and greater than 200 have been injured, in line with native police.

The violent clashes led to the resignation of the prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on 9 May. Along along with his brother, the president, Mr Rajapaksa has been blamed by many for plunging the nation into its worst economic crisis in decades.

As a end result, a curfew was put in place, although many tour operators suggested purchasers to complete their holidays as deliberate.

Package vacation firm Tui then cancelled all of its Sri Lanka holidays as much as and together with 31 May 2022.

Yesterday, the UN launched a “Humanitarian needs and Priorities” plan calling for US$47.2m (£38.2m) in assist for some 1.7 million folks worst hit by the disaster.

The Foreign Office does proceed to warn travellers about financial situations on the island, saying: “The economic situation in Sri Lanka is challenging 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 may be difficulties or delays obtaining taxis and other public transport. There are ongoing daily power cuts due to electricity rationing.

“There have been a number of protests since 31 March 2022. There have been incidents involving violence against peaceful protesters resulting in injuries and loss of life. Security authorities have used tear gas and water cannons against protesters. There are ongoing protests in the Galle Road, Galle Face and Fort areas of Colombo. Further protests are likely to take place across the island.”

Sri Lankan journey specialists say tourism can be welcomed on an island that was hit laborious first by the pandemic journey shutdown, then the current financial disaster.

Sam Clark, the founding father of Experience Travel Group, says: “It is fantastic and very welcome news that the FCDO has lifted the advisory against travel to Sri Lanka.

“With the new government in place, this is a moment of hope for Sri Lanka. The situation is far more settled than in March and April when we successfully arranged many holidays.

“Tourism is the critical route through the crisis long term bringing in an average of $183 (£149) per person per day in much needed hard currency.

“This move means UK travellers can enjoy the outstanding hospitality, incredible scenery and glorious summer weather while local livelihoods will be protected.”

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