UK updates travel advice on Sri Lanka following Minuwangoda incident

The United Kingdom has updated its travel advice on Sri Lanka following the Minuwangoda coronavirus incident.

In the updated travel advice, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said that due to a recent cluster of COVID-19 cases in the community, there is a high risk of changes to flights and airport operations at short notice.

The travel advice also said that repatriation flights into Sri Lanka have been suspended and non-national residents wishing to return to Sri Lanka should contact their nearest Sri Lankan High Commission for advice.

Sri Lankan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates are currently operating some outbound flights from Sri Lanka to the UK. Some airlines require PCR tests before travel, the travel advice said.

The travel advice noted that on 4 October, the police issued a local curfew in the Divulapitiya, Minuwangoda and Veyangoda areas in response to positive COVID-19 cases in the community. Further curfews are being imposed in affected areas across a wide geographic spread, and travel restrictions may also be imposed at short notice. Those not adhering to restrictions risk arrest.

The Government of Sri Lanka has advised against all non-essential travel nation-wide. Public gatherings such as exhibitions, conferences, parties, indoor and outdoor events, carnivals, musical shows and processions have been banned.

Social distancing instructions remain in force everywhere. The travel advice notes that the Police say anyone breaking social distancing or failing to wear a face mask in public will be subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine. (Colombo Gazette)