British government warns expats and tourists to stay away from Sri Lanka

Published:  26 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: Travel Abroad
British tourists and expats are being warned by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to avoid all but absolutely necessary travel to the grieving country following the Easter Sunday terrorist atrocities.

The warning came as ongoing threat levels were reviewed, with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stating he’d received updates from the Foreign Office indicating the necessity of upgrading travel warnings. At the present time, some 8,000 Britons are on the island, either as tourists or business visitors, with around 10,000 expatriate Britons living there full time. Visitors already in Sri Lanka are being advised to contact their travel providers to ensure a swift departure to a safer location.

The warning gives tourist and expats wishing to quit the island time to organise an orderly departure, thus avoiding even more congestion at its main international airport, already crowded with passengers to the extent that passing customs and passport control is taking four hours minimum. The evacuation is being monitored via civil service consultations along with the insurance industry, airlines and travel operators.

A tweet sent by the US Embassy in Sri Lanka has warned about further terrorist violence, stating places of worship should be avoided due to the risk of further attacks. In addition, the warning urges avoiding large crowds and remaining vigilant at all times. As the controversy continues over the lack of action after warnings about the attacks were received, the Sri Lankan government’s ban on social media is still in force, with the government saying the shutdown is aimed at stopping the spread of misinformation as well as incitements to revenge motivated violence.
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