ECONOMYNEXT – The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has asked commercial banks to be open at least two hours when curfew is lifted in most parts of the island on March 23, while urging customers to make use of online banking.
The headquarters of all banks are in Colombo, an area that remains under curfew.
Sri Lanka’s acting police chief C D Wickremeratne had asked bankers to use their office identification to travel during curfew to perform essential services, the state information office said.
“…CBSL encourages public to use online payment instruments for their day to day transactions and to withdraw cash at less crowded ATMs of any bank,” the regulator said in a statement.
“CBSL also wishes to advice banks and general public to strictly adhere to necessary health and safety requirements in providing/obtaining such services.”
Curfew will remain in place until Tuesday morning in Colombo, Gampaha, Puttalam, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Mulativu, while authorities track down contacts and place them in self-quarantine.
Colombo stock exchange said it will be closed on both March 23 and 24.
Authorities have urged the public to maintain one meter distance while waiting in line and not crowd around in shops when they re-open.
Curfew will be re-imposed at 1400 hours to prevent the spread of the virus. (Colombo/Mar23/2020)