UK reinstates warning against travel to Sri Lankaon July 5, 2022 at 3:32 pm

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Britons are warned against all but essential travel as the country faces a severe economic crisis.

Family of three walk on Sri Lankan beachImage source, Getty Images

The UK government has reinstated advice against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka as a severe economic crisis has sparked civil unrest.

A shortage of basic necessities including medicines, cooking gas, fuel and food has sparked protests and violence in the Asian country.

Sri Lanka’s government said it only had enough petrol to last one day as it faces its worst crisis in 70 years.

The travel warning was previously in place from 13 May to 10 June.

The popular tourist destination ended a state of emergency prompted by angry demonstrations over the economic crisis on 21 May.

But on Sunday, the nation said its petrol stocks had almost run dry once again and its next shipment was not due for two weeks.

The Foreign Office warned holidaymakers could encounter “demonstrations, roadblocks and violent unrest at short notice”.

Visiting countries against Foreign Office advice would be likely to invalidate your travel insurance, the Association of British Insurers said.

It said anyone who changed their plans as a result of a travel warning should also check their insurance could be transferred to cover their new destination.

The Sri Lankan government has blamed the Covid pandemic for the crisis, which affected the country’s tourist trade – one of its biggest foreign currency earners.

Nearly 200,000 Britons travelled to Sri Lanka in 2019, but this figure dipped to 55,455 in 2020.

But Sri Lanka’s government exacerbated its foreign currency shortage in 2021, when it banned imports of chemical fertiliser.

Widespread crop failure forced the country to import food from abroad, compounding its foreign currency crisis.

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