Foreign Office warns of food and fuel shortages in Sri Lanka, but specialists urge Brits to keep booking

By Lisa James
Home » Foreign Office warns of food and fuel shortages in Sri Lanka, but specialists urge Brits to keep booking

Sri Lanka specialists are urging Brits not to be put off from travelling to Sri Lanka after the Foreign Office issued an update.

The FCDO has updated its advice to warn: “The economic situation is deteriorating in Sri Lanka with shortages of basic necessities including medicines, fuel and food because of a shortage of hard currency to pay for imports.

“There may be long queues at grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies. Local authorities may impose the rationing of electricity, resulting in power outages.”

The FCDO also says: “Due to a prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the community, there could be changes to flights and airport operations at short notice.

“Lockdowns could be imposed in affected areas, and travel restrictions may also be imposed at short notice.”

Specialists say they are keeping an eye on the situation but urge tourists to keep visiting Sri Lanka.

Experience Travel Group Managing Director Sam Clark said: “We have been monitoring the economic situation since October. It’s not new, but it has got more serious.

“We have two full-time employees out there and there is pretty much no impact on tourism. The hotels have generators as Sri Lanka does have power outages.

“Tourist vehicles have access to fuel.

“People need to keep going there – 100%. Tourism has such a positive impact.”

Neil Dobbs, who owns the Travel Gallery tour operation as well as a boutique hotel in Sri Lanka, said: “We are flying out there this evening.

“The economic situation in Sri Lanka has deteriorated. There are power cuts and the currency has been devalued, but I was talking to our local partner in Sri Lanka yesterday and they were saying that in fact it is seen as being relatively short-term and there will not be sustained shortages.

“There have been some power outages, but tourists are going to be the least affected by that.”

He added: “In terms of the advice on the risk of last-minute changes to flights and travel restrictions, that advice has been on the FCDO site for some time.

“In fact, Sri Lanka has done a fantastic job of getting on top of COVID.

“In my opinion, it is business as usual.”

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