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EU does not lift travel restrictions on Sri Lanka despite ‘active lobbying’

The European Union (EU) has decided not to lift their ban on travel from Sri Lanka due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite the Sri Lankan embassy in Brussels “actively lobbying for Sri Lanka’s inclusion in the list”.

The EU has begun to gradually lift the temporary restrictions it had imposed on non-essential travel into the region, with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating it had been “actively lobbying for Sri Lanka’s inclusion in the list”.

“The Embassy was further informed that the list will be progressively expanded depending on the progress made in the epidemiological situation in countries, the ability to apply containment measures during travel and whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU countries,” said a Sri Lankan foreign ministry statement.

The list is compromised of 15 countries, including Canada, Morocco, and Australia while countries such as the US, Brazil and Russia - all of whom are struggling with an increasing number of coronavirus cases - have been excluded. 

“The decision to lift travel restrictions with non-EU countries is ultimately the prerogative of EU Member States and the Schengen Associated Countries,” said the EU in a statement after it was announced Sri Lanka was not to be included.

“The absence of a country on this positive list should therefore not be considered as being blacklisted.”

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