Switzerland relaxes travel restrictions to Sri Lanka

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has updated its travel advisory to Sri Lanka as the security situation in the island nation has improved.

Following the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed over 250 people including 47 foreign nationals, the FDFA advised Swiss citizens to avoid travel to Sri Lanka unless the journey is essential.

In an update issued today, the Department of Foreign Affairs advises the travelers to be very vigilant about their personal safety.

The travel advisory cautioned that the political and social tensions are high and they can trigger violent clashes at any time and throughout the country. It is to be expected that the political situation will remain tense until the national elections in December 2019, it said.

The advisory cautioned that there is a risk of terrorist attacks throughout the country.

It noted that since 23 April 2019, the state of emergency has been in force throughout the country. This allows the government to take, if necessary, various measures such as restricting the freedom of assembly and circulation or to impose curfews. In addition, during the state of emergency, arrests without a warrant may be made.

Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in separate meetings with the resident diplomats requested to lift the travel warnings on Sri Lanka as the tourism industry in the country took a direct hit from the Easter Sunday attacks.

China last week relaxed the tourism travel advisory imposed on Sri Lanka from ‘Do not travel to Sri Lanka’ to ‘be cautious’.

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