Sri Lanka health ministry Coronavirus guidelines for supermarkets, restaurants

COVID-19 Coronavirus social distancing in supermarket in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry has issued the following guidelines for supermarkets, and restaurants and eateries when Coronavirus curfews are relaxed.

Several activities are still banned and people have been advised to maintain social distance of at least one meter. The National Health Service of the UK and Centres of Disease Control are advising 2 metre distance especially if people are talking.

In Vietnam, one of the countries which has been most successful at controlling the spread of Covid-19, people going to restaurants have been advised not to laugh and talk excessively and quickly eat and go.

Unlike in Sri Lanka however, service is extremely fast in Vietnam and people do not have to order food and wait for more than a few minutes, those familiar with the country say.

It is not clear whether Sri Lanka would do random testing of waiters and cleaning staff. At the moment Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the world where voluntary drive in tests are prohibited.
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Prohibited activities

The following places or situations are prohibited till COVID-19 outbreak is fully controlled as gathering of people/ children in close proximity to each other would promote spread of COVID -19 virus.

1. Large gatherings in enclosed spaces Eg: cinema, private tuition classes conventions etc.

2. Adventure parks for children.

3. Night clubs, casinos and betting centres

4. Gatherings in religious places

In countries that are successfully battling Coronavirus, spas, massage parlours, gyms and beauty salons are closed.


Following measures are to be adopted in addition to the general measures described in section 3 above.

• Provide hand washing facilities at the entrance preferably with a foot or elbow operated tap and make sure that each customer washes hands before entering.

• Before opening the supermarket, clean and disinfect the floor, counter tops and all common contact surfaces.

• Keep the entrance and exit doors open or keep dedicated persons to open and close the doors.

• Take only a designated number of customers inside in order to maintain 1 meter distance between two persons including the queue.

• Customers without masks shall not be allowed in.

• Advice the staff not to wear nonessential accessories/ornaments (such as wrist watch, bracelets, jewelries, etc) during working hours.

• The handles of the carts and baskets should be disinfected after each use.

• Operating of weighing machines should only be done by the dedicated staff members.

• Avoid selling unpacked common retail items (Rice dhal etc) and prepack them and keep ready.

• Cashier be advised to sanitize hands with each encounter with customers.

• Customers be given the option whether to issue a paper invoice or arrange the invoice to be sent electronically to the mobile phone.

• Maintain express counters (less than 5 items).

• Utility bill payments through supermarket counters shall be suspended during this disease transmission period.

• Remove all customer operated devices (E.g. touch screens at the cashier).

• Make customers aware of the measures and health messages through print, digital and audio media.

• It is recommended to arrange separate small stalls outside the main market for commonly sold items such as rice, coconut, potatoes onions etc. This measure could reduce the overcrowding inside the main hall.