ECONOMYNEXT – Members of the public are not permitted to venture out between 11pm today and 4am Monday (17) unless it is for an essential service, a medical emergency, or to buy medicine, police said.
One person per household may go out after 4am Monday based on the last digit of their National Identity Card (NIC). The unofficial NIC lockdown pass, according to police, will not be valid during the de fact curfew that will be in place island-wide from tonight till Monday morning.
Police said in a statement today that it has instructed shops and stores to stay shut over the next three days, which would otherwise have been a long weekend in Sri Lanka. Only pharmacies are allowed to operate during the unofficial lockdown.
These ‘movement restrictions’ will come into effect from 11pm today (13) to 4am Monday (17) with inter-district travel restrictions also imposed every day from 11pm to 4am starting today till May 31.
The move amounts to an unofficial lockdown which cannot be called a curfew without a state of emergency being declared.
Essential workers including those in the health services, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Ceylon Electricity Board, the media and the apparel sector are permitted to commute to work during the unofficial lockdown using their own transport.
The de fact curfew ends at 4am Monday, after which all inter-district travel will be restricted from 11pm to 4am every day from today until May 31. However, essential services and a limited number of the work force in both state and private sectors will be allowed to move, per day, officials said.
According to a statement issued by Sri Lanka Police yesterday, during hours when there are no travel restrictions, one person from a single family may leave the house, based on the last digit of their national identity card (NIC) number. Those whose NIC digits end with an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, or 9) may go out on ‘odd days’ and those with an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, or 8) may go out on ‘even days’, the statement said.
This means that after Monday (17), till May 31, one person from one household can venture out from 4am to 11pm, depending on their NIC number.
People without an NIC can use their passport or a letter signed by their local Grama Niladhari.
Foreigners can use their own national ID or passport or a travel permit.
A limited number of employees in both government and private sectors whose services are considered essential are permitted to commute to work after Monday with a permission letter from the company or department. They may use the limited public transport available, police said. (Colombo/May13/2021)