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New rules for businesses and citizens as curfew is lifted on May 4

ECONOMYNEXT – The government has issued new guidelines for businesses to open in the high-risk areas of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam districts from May 4, a Media Release from the Presidential Secretariat said.

All institutions, government and private are expected to resume work from May 4 under strict guidelines the announcement said to ensure social distancing and other precautions to avoid the spread of COVID 19.

Accordingly curfew rules are being relaxed to accommodate them.

Government departments, Corporations, other statutory bodies as well as private sector manufacturing, construction, all offices, vegetable, fish and all retail outlets are given permission to operate from May 4.

All heads of institutions should plan out their work and scheduling of staff in the coming week, the statement said.

Offices are expected to open at 10 am each day and the government advises all institutions to bring only one-third of staff to office on each day. The other staff is advised to work from home if possible.

The management can decide to rotate the staff coming to work if it wishes to do so.

The government has also introduced regulations to limit the number of people who will come on to the street during the time the curfew is lifted to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus.

Only people who are going to work should use public transport. All others should stay at home.

Only those who need to purchase essential items or medicinal drugs should go out of their homes and should be going only a walking distance from their residences.

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Permission to leave their homes will be granted depending on the last digit of the National Identity Card numbers, the statement said.

The schedule is as follows:

Mondays – Those whose ID Number ends with 1 or 2

Tuesdays – Those whose ID Number ends with 3 or 4

Wednesdays – Those whose ID Number ends with 5 or 6

Thursdays – Those whose ID Number ends with 7 or 8

Fridays – Those whose ID Number ends with 9 or 0

The government has banned all gatherings, whether they are of a religious nature, celebrations, recreational trips, processions and any event that brings people together to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

Schools, universities and private tuition establishments are closed until further notice. (Colombo, April 25, 2020)