The United States relaxes travel advisory on Sri Lanka from Level 3 to Level 2 requesting its citizens to exercise increased caution when visiting the country.
Issuing a statement on their official website, the State Department informed that they have lifted the departure status of several categories. These include family members of U.S government employees under the age of 18 years, non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members.
The statement cautioned that “terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, hospitals, and other public areas.”
In the immediate aftermath of the April 21 bombings, the State Department ordered family members of US officials to leave Sri Lanka. 37 countries issued travel advisories on Sri Lanka, ranging from cautionary to “do not travel”.
India, Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour and top source country was the first to relax their travel advisory on Sri Lanka on May 28. Thereafter, many countries including China, Sweden, Netherlands and the UK have all relaxed or downgraded their travel advisories.
On June 14, Australia lifted its travel warning against Sri Lanka from ‘reconsider travel’ to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’.
According to SLTDA data, the United States and Australia accounted for 5 per cent each for the total number of arrivals in March 2019.