Dos and don’ts in Colombo, Gampaha with loosening of restrictions

Sri Lanka Army road block

The Police yesterday (11) released the complete list of guidelines to be followed in Colombo and Gampaha districts during the curfew.

The Government decided to commence restoring normalcy, in these areas from yesterday.

Accordingly, Police Media Spokesman Jaliya Senaratne (Attorney-at-Law) in a communiqué states that it is essential to focus on the following matters:

1. It is decided to open public institutions/offices by calling only the essential number of employees. These employees can use their official identity card, a letter by their institute, or an electronic copy of that letter as a curfew permit. In this case, the officers, who have to travel across district boundaries for reaching their workplace or returning home, are not required to obtain a Medical Officer of Health (MOH) certificate.

Public officers travelling by their private vehicles and by vehicles provided by the relevant institution should come to the workplace before 08.30 hours and should leave the office between 15.00 – 16.00 hours. However, the above times are not relevant for government factories and public institutions that are functioning according to a duty roster. Employees of private institutions/offices travelling by their private vehicles and by vehicle provided by the relevant institution are expected to arrive at their workplace between 08.30 – 10.00 hours and the vehicles that are transporting employees after the duty, should leave between 16.00 – 17.00 hours.

2. In transporting passengers by public transport services (trains and buses) respective bus owners, drivers and conductors should take action to maintain the health guidelines.

3. Wholesale and retail shops that discharge essential services for the public and that sells food and goods will be permitted to open. Accordingly, pharmacies, groceries, telephone outlets, textile shops, books and newspaper stalls, and lottery sales outlets are also permitted.

4. Although the shops are opened in the above manner, for purchasing goods and services, the public should visit the shop or service centre which is in the nearest proximity to their residence.

5. Personal vehicles that have obtained curfew permits to go out for civilian needs are permitted to travel only between 10.30 hours to 15.00 hours. However, any person travelling out of home, for personal activities, should follow the health guidelines such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Furthermore, it will be permitted to go out without a curfew permit for personal needs such as buying essential food items, obtaining essential services, or purchasing pharmaceuticals, according to the last digit of the National Identity Card number. Accordingly, Monday for 1,2 digits, Tuesday for 3,4 digits, Wednesday for 5,6 digits, Thursday for 7,8 digits, and Friday for 9,0 digits.

However, individuals, who are under quarantine/self-quarantine and their family members, will not be allowed to travel as above, until they receive the MOH certificate.

6. Permission has not been granted to open canteens, kiosks where food is served and restaurants. Decision on opening them for the public will be made in due cause.

7. Food Delivery services which have already obtained license are allowed to carry on their operation.

8. Supermarkets are permitted to resume their operations and proprietor and employees are responsible to follow the relevant health and safety regulations.

9. Only two (02) adults except the driver are authorized to travel by a trishaw. Rented cars (Uber, PickMe etc.) are allowed and only three (03) adults other than the driver are permitted to travel.

Health and safety measures should be followed while travelling.

However, vehicles including buses that are operated to carry employees of the state and public sector organizations and factories are allowed to carry passengers to the number of seats available. It is highly expected to follow the Health and safety regulations imposed by the heath personnel (wearing masks, using sanitizers, measuring body temperature).

10. Saloon and beauty parlors are allowed to open and it is compulsory to obtain a certificate from Regional Medical Officer (RMO). It is the responsibility of the owner and employees of the establishment to adhere to the health and safety regulations imposed by the Director General of Health Services.

11. Permission has been granted to open private medical centres. A certificate from the Regional Medical Officer (RMO) should be obtained and the owner and employees of the establishment are responsible to follow the health and safety regulations imposed by the Director General of Health Services.

12. Even though permission has been given to open tourist hotels, restaurants operated under such hotels are not authorized to open until further notice. It is essential to follow “OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES ON PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE FOR COVID-19” dated 17.04.2020 issued by Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services and instructions and health and safety regulations issued time to time.

13. Permission has been granted to operate Manning Market-Colombo, economic centres and wholesale business centres, subject to quarantine regulations and health and safety legislations.

14. Permission has been given to resume work at construction sites and transportation of items related to construction industry (stones, sand, tile, bricks) is also allowed. However, it is the responsibility of the management to call for the employees whose service is essential to the construction site.

15. The following institutes/places are not permitted to open for operation, until further notice.

i) Market places (weekly fair, daily fair etc.) and mass-markets (such as Pamunuwa –Maharagama)

ii) gymnasiums

iii) Spas

iv) Clubs

v) Betting Centres

(Source: The Island – AFP Photo / Ishara S. KODIKARA)