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British tourists have an increasing list of destinations to choose from for their holidays this year. The Government’s green and yellow lists – which have nearly identical conditions for vaccinated people – are growing each month. Their place depends on local infection rates, and some favourites have yet to leave the restrictive red list.
When will Sri Lanka exit the red list?
Everyone but British and Irish nationals or those with residency rights may not enter the UK if they have recently travelled to a red-listed country.
The list includes the most destinations behind its amber counterpart and contains British holiday favourites such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru.
Sri Lanka has remained there since the list’s inception while neighbouring India has since moved to amber.
The country has led a blistering charge against Covid since 2020, with under 1000 cases per day at the height of its first wave.
Sri Lanka’s latest spike, which started in early July, has seen its highest totals yet, with 3,951 infections reported on August 8.
Although record-breaking for the country, total infections still fall far below those in India and the UK.
Indian authorities continue to report nearly 40,000 daily infections, while British cases number roughly 27,000.
Sri Lanka’s leaders have said they are “hopeful” to soon join India in moving to a less restrictive list.
Saroja Sirisena, Sri Lankan High Commissioner, said security arrangements made after the devastating 2019 suicide bombings have allowed officials to control the national Covid rate.
She told Travel Weekly the Easter Sunday attacks, which killed 267 people, allowed her country to come out “better prepared” for emergency events.
Ms Sirisena praised the “phenomenal” work of the local healthcare system and the speed at which the military met the challenge.
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She said: “We have been really disciplined [with Covid].
“Our approach was criticised by some because we got the military involved to handle some sections of the operation, but we moved really quickly.
“We shut our airports and wouldn’t even let Sri Lankan nationals back in.
“The army set up hospitals in ten days, and our healthcare system was phenomenal.”
Ms Sirisena said by September, everyone over the age of 30 would have full vaccine coverage.
She is hopeful British officials will move Sri Lanka to a less restrictive list by then.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps is due to update the UK’s travel lists around August 25 or 26.
The Government has not confirmed this, but the last update took place on August 4, and they often leave three weeks between each announcement.
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