News

Post-lockdown guidelines issued

 

  • Non-essential travel banned from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. 
  • Public gatherings prohibited; takeaway/delivery permitted
  • Construction/agricultural sites, salons, daycare centres/nurseries, universities/schools/vocational training centres to open with restrictions
  • Cinema halls, sports activity centres closed
  • Only 10 per funeral/wedding till 16 Oct.

 

BY Dinitha Rathnayake

The Health Ministry is set to focus on maintaining social distancing, respiratory etiquette, and aseptic techniques while reopening the country today (1 October) under the new health guidelines, after six weeks in lockdown owing to the rapid rise in Covid-19 infections and deaths.

Accordingly, the Ministry said that a set of guidelines has been issued with effect from today to 15 October, while another set of guidelines will come into effect from 16 October till 31 October.

Inter-provincial travel restrictions are to continue, with exceptions for essential activities, while all non-essential travel is not permitted from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily.

Trains will not be operated, while buses will operate only within the provinces.

All work settings should reduce the number of employees coming to work at a given time, and where possible, continue working from home. Essential services and industries are exempted, while others should function with minimum required numbers, as decided by the head of the institution.

According to the new guidelines, all public gatherings are not allowed until further notice.
Takeaway and delivery services from restaurants would be allowed. Construction and agricultural sites, salons, and daycare centres and nurseries are allowed to open while universities, schools, and vocational training centres are allowed to open with certain restrictions.

Cinema halls and sports activity centres would remain closed. Funerals and weddings would be allowed, under restrictions, with only 10 persons permitted. However, from 16 October to 31 October, at funerals, 15 persons would be permitted at a time, while at weddings, a total of 25% of the location space could be occupied with a maximum of 50 persons. No liquor would be permitted at weddings.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) said that there is still a possibility of the high level of transmission of Covid-19, as a significant number of individuals below the age of 30 years is not vaccinated as of yet.
Therefore, she stressed the importance of strictly following health rules and guidelines in order to prevent another wave when the lockdown is lifted.