Sri Lanka travel warning issued due to national strike

By Linsey McNeill
28/02/2023
Home » Sri Lanka travel warning issued due to national strike

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for Sri Lanka to warn of a nationwide strike on Wednesday 1 March.

It says there could be roadblocks and ‘major disruption’ to essential services, including healthcare.

News reports say the strike could also affect airports, ports and other forms of transport.

The Foreign Office was already warning that a severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka has led to shortages of basic necessities including medicines, cooking gas fuel and food.

It lifted its advice against non-essential travel to the island in late August 2022 following three months of unrest, but it has continued to urge travellers to be vigilant.

Its advice still says: “The major shortage of fuel (diesel and petrol) is affecting transport, businesses, and emergency services. Hospitals and other medical services such as ambulances may be affected by shortages.

“There are daily power cuts due to electricity rationing. 

“It is more important than ever to get appropriate travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover.”

Protests about the economic situation have led to violence against peaceful protesters in recent months, resulting in injuries and loss of life, it added.

Tear gas and water cannons have been used to disperse protesters. “Protests, demonstrations, roadblocks and violent unrest could occur at short notice,” added the Foreign Office advice.

“Curfews and emergency regulations may also be imposed. You should be vigilant, avoid large gatherings and keep up to date with developments via this travel advice and local media.”

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