US State Department asks citizens to ‘reconsider’ travel to Sri Lanka

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The US Statement Department has requested its citizens to reconsider travel to Sri Lanka due to COVID-19 and fuel and medicine shortages.

“Exercise increased caution in Sri Lanka due to terrorism,” it added.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Sri Lanka due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country.

Sri Lanka is experiencing shortages of fuel and cooking gas as well as some medicines and essential food items, due to the ongoing economic situation in the country.

There have recently been protests over the economic situation and queues at gas stations, grocery stores, and some pharmacies. Protests have occurred throughout the country and have mostly been peaceful.

In some instances, police have used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters.

There have also been daily planned power outages across the island, as well as some unplanned power outages, as fuel for backup generators is increasingly scarce.

Public transportation in some instances has been limited or curtailed. Travellers should monitor local media for updates on the ongoing situation.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in remote areas.

If you decide to travel to Sri Lanka:

  • See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when travelling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enrol in the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Sri Lanka.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.

Sri Lanka Travel Advisory