EU insists Sri Lanka not blacklisted from visa list

The European Union (EU) today insisted that Sri Lanka has not been blacklisted despite not being considered among countries approved visas when internal border controls are lifted.

The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Sri Lanka and the EU Member States Embassies in Colombo issued a clarification today on lifting the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU and reports that Sri Lanka was not included in the list of selected countries.

The EU and Member States Ambassadors resident in Colombo recognise the successful efforts of the Sri Lankan Government to contain the spread of COVID-19, the statement said.

The statement said that with the process of lifting internal border controls well underway, the EU is now preparing for the gradual reopening to travel from outside the EU.

The decision to lift travel restrictions with non-EU countries is ultimately the prerogative of EU Member States and the Schengen Associated Countries, the statement said.

To that effect, Member States and Associated countries have been working together to agree an initial positive list of countries with which borders could be reopened soon on the basis of objective criteria, including the epidemiological situation in the given country and possibility to seek reciprocity with the country concerned.

The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Sri Lanka and the EU Member States Embassies in Colombo said the short list being examined at the moment is limited to 15 countries and it can be seen as a first step towards a return to normal.

The statement added that the absence of a country on the positive list should therefore not be considered as being blacklisted.

The statement said that the list will be regularly updated and revised to ensure that further countries can be added as soon as the situation allows and countries and travellers will be duly informed. (Colombo Gazette)