Fuel for nonessential vehicles has been suspended in Sri Lanka as the country faces its worst economic crisis in decades. Only buses, trains and vehicles for hospital services will be allowed to use fuel for the next two weeks. Urban schools have shut and the country’s 22 million residents have been told to work from home.
The nation is currently in talks discussing a bailout deal as it is struggling to afford imports including fuel and food. Sri Lanka is the first country to take this step of halitng sales of fuel to regular citizens since the 1970s oil crisis. Sri Lanka was hit hard by the pandemic economically and as energy prices continue to rise, Sri Lanka does not have enough foreign currency to pay for its essential goods imports. The cost of living in the country is at a record high as shortages of food, fuel and medicine have caused prices for essentials to continue rising. Private vehicles are banned from buying petrol and diesel until July 10.