Sri Lanka travel alert issued as public emergency declared

An island-wide curfew has been imposed in Sri Lanka amid protests over shortages of basic necessities.

The Foreign Office updated its travel advice over the weekend after the country’s government declared a public emergency.

The guidance said: “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 Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office guidance added: “There have been a number of recent protests. One in Colombo on 31 March resulted in a curfew being temporarily imposed.

“There are reports that there will be further protests across the island in the next few days.

“On 1 April 2022 the government of Sri Lanka declared a public emergency, and an island-wide curfew is now in place from 6pm on 2 April 2022 until 6am on 4 April 2022.

“Local restrictions, including further curfews could be imposed at short notice.

“You should be vigilant, avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings, and follow the advice of the local authorities.”

It also warned: “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.”

Sri Lanka’s cabinet ministers have resigned en masse after protests over the government’s handling of the worst economic crisis in decades, the BBC reported..

All 26 ministers submitted letters of resignation, excluding prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

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