Sri Lanka appeals to Russia to further relax travel advice

Sri Lanka has requested Russia to further relax the travel advise imposed on Sri Lanka.

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga told reporters today that the country has returned to normalcy following the Easter Sunday attacks.

He said that almost all countries have removed or relaxed the travel advice issued on Sri Lanka following the Easter attacks.

However, he said that Russia has not fully removed the travel advice so he hopes to raise the matter with the Russian Embassy in Colombo.

The Minister said that with the state of emergency being removed tourists have placed more confidence on Sri Lanka.

He said that there is a gradual rise in the number of tourists arriving in the country following the Easter attacks and the Government expects the numbers to improve further.

Meanwhile, the Government insisted that only the visa fee had been removed for some countries and that the process to apply for a visa remained.

Amaratunga said that there had been some confusion over the visa fee exemption offered to 48 countries.

He said that the mandatory USD 35 visa fee payment had been exempted for 48 countries for a period of six months beginning from 1 August.

However obtaining a visa was still a requirement for tourists from those countries.

The 48 countries whose citizens are eligible for the Visa Fee exemption are: Austria; Australia; Belgium; Bulgaria; Canada; Cambodia; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Malta; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russia; Singapore; South Korea; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Thailand; Ukraine; the United Kingdom; and the United States of America.

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