WHO pledges medical aid worth $4 million to crisis-ridden Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – Several European countries have relaxed travel advisories issued for Sri Lanka effective Friday August 26, Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said.

France, Switzerland, Norway and the UK have relaxed travel advisories allowing more tourists to come to Sri Lanka, Fernando tweeted on Friday morning.

“Happy to announce that France, Switzerland, Norway and the UK are easing travel restrictions for their citizens to travel to Sri Lanka,” Fernando said.

“It’s a positive step and I’m confident the winter tourist season will go well.”

The UK, advising its citizens after easing restrictions, has advised British tourists to take out travel insurance and expect power cuts and fuel shortages as the country is in the throes of a currency crisis .

“The UK no longer advises against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka,” the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.

Sri Lanka is experiencing a severe economic crisis which has led to shortages of basic necessities including medicine, cooking gas, fuel and food, the notice said.

“The major fuel shortage (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 blackouts due to electricity rationing. It’s more important than ever to get the right travel insurance and check that it provides sufficient cover.

Sri Lanka’s queues for fuel and cooking gas have eased in recent weeks.

The island nation has experienced currency shortages after two years of printing money to keep interest rates low, hurting the credibility of the island’s soft peg.

However, interest rates have been raised and capital outflows are now declining. (Colombo/August 26, 2022)

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