As a result of the violent anti-government demonstrations that broke out throughout Sri Lanka in March, the whole nation is now subject to a curfew.
The island country is a favorite destination among budget travelers and vacationers, but what does the current security situation indicate for those who are planning to visit there?
Several nations, notably the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, have recently revised their recommendations for tourists visiting Sri Lanka. Other nations, like as New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland, have issued travel advisories advising their citizens to avoid going to the South Asian country unless it is absolutely necessary.
What’s starting to happen in Sri Lanka?
As a result of an unprecedented economic crisis, there is a widespread lack of access to electricity as well as shortages of vital products like as medicines and cooking gas.
Late in the month of March, there was an outbreak of widespread protests against the administration, which resulted in violent clashes between protestors and supporters of the government as well as armed police. During the turmoil, at least eight people have been confirmed dead, and at least more than 200 others have been wounded.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday. However, demonstrators are also demanding that his brother, who is now serving as president, step down from his position. Demonstrations have been taking place in front of his office in the nation’s capital, Colombo, by thousands of people.
In addition, protesters have set fire to scores of residences and vehicles belonging to prominent officials.
The best way to avoid danger
On May 6, the government of Sri Lanka declared that the country was under a “state of emergency.” This indicates that they have the power to issue security pronouncements such as curfews at short notice and have the authority to do so.
Be careful to keep up with the local news and official updates on a consistent basis, and consult the travel advice provided by your own country’s government.
Because protests have sometimes turned violent, and the police have reacted with tear gas and water cannons, foreign governments, including the UK’s, have recommended tourists to stay away from locations where demonstrations are taking place.
Colombo, the country’s capital, has been the epicenter of the demonstrations, and the Galle Face region has been the scene of some of the most violent episodes. However, you need use extreme caution wherever you go since instability is widespread throughout the nation.
Even if there is a curfew in place, is it possible to walk outside in Sri Lanka?
Under the terms of the curfew, you are not permitted to leave the house.
The Tourism Development Authority of Sri Lanka has suggested to visitors that they wait to check out of their hotel or other place of lodging until it is time for their departing aircraft.
On their route to the airport, travelers who want to get past the curfew are told by the police that they may do so by presenting their passports and flight tickets.
Because broad strikes may potentially create disruptions to travel plans, it is a good idea to check with your airline and taxi provider before beginning your trip.
Will I still be able to go on vacation?
Because of its generally pleasant environment, Sri Lanka is sometimes referred to be a “year-round destination.” As a result, many individuals may be considering a trip there during the summertime.
The majority of tour companies have not canceled booked visits to the nation in spite of the upheaval; however, some of them have altered itineraries to spend more time in beach resorts, which are located farther away from protest focal sites. It is generally in your best interest to inquire with the firm that you booked with.
You should bear in mind that if you decide to cancel your own trip, travel insurance providers will probably not cover you. This is particularly true if your own nation has not advised you to avoid traveling to Sri Lanka.
Exist COVID-19-related governmental limitations in Sri Lanka?
When traveling to Sri Lanka, it is essential to keep in mind the limitations regarding the coronavirus that are currently in effect.
Those who are still interested in traveling to the nation must submit a health declaration form and pay around €11.50 ($11.97) for the COVID-19 insurance policy.
Visitors who have had all of their vaccinations are exempt from having to undergo a pre-departure PCR test, but unvaccinated travelers are required to take tests both before they leave and after they arrive.