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Sri Lanka to relax COVID-19 curfew starting Monday

ECONOMYNEXT – Barring some select areas, the curfew imposed islandwide to contain the COVID-19 pandemic will be relaxed from Monday, April 20, the government of Sri Lanka announced a short while ago.

Curfew will be lifted at 5am and reimposed at 8pm in all districts except Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttalam, Kandy, Kegalle and Ampara. Until further notice, curfew will be imposed in these districts (excluding the aforementioned) from 8pm to 5am.

Curfew in the Alawathugoda, Akurana, Warakapola and Akkaraipattu police divisions in the Kandy, Kegalle and Ampara districts will continue to be imposed, while curfew on all other police divisions in these districts will be lifted from 5am to 8pm.

In the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam, curfew will be lifted at 5am and reimposed at 8pm from Wednesday April 22 in all police divisions except the following:

Colombo district: Kotahena, Grandpass, Bambalapitiya, Keselwatte, Maradana, Gothatuwa, Mulleriyawa, Wellampitiya, Mount Lavinia, Dehiwala and Kohuwala

Gampaha district: Ja-Ela, Kochchikade, Seeduwa

Puttalam district: Puttalam, Marawila, Wennappuwa

Kalutara district: Bandaragama, Payagala, Beruwala, Aluthgama

To reiterate, curfew will not be lifted in the Kotahena, Grandpass, Bambalapitiya, Keselwatte, Maradana, Gothatuwa, Mulleriyawa, Wellampitiya, Mount Lavinia, Dehiwala, Kohuwala, Ja-Ela, Kochchikade, Seeduwa, Puttalam, Marawila, Wennappuwa, Bandaragama, Payagala, Beruwala, Aluthgama, Alawathugoda, Akurana, Warakapola and Akkaraipattu police divisions.

The announced relaxations notwithstanding, in the event a curfew-lifted area is identified as being at risk, curfew may be reimposed in those areas until further notice. Travelling to and from isolated areas will be strictly prohibited, the government said.

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In police divisions where curfew will continue to be imposed, the statement said, transport on main roads will be permitted for essential services only. In areas where curfew is to be relaxed, main roads may only used for commuting to work or other essential activities. Travel between districts will only be permitted for purposes of employment or essential needs.

Schools, universities, private tuition centres and other educational institutes and movie theatres are to remain shut till further notice.

Once curfew is relaxed, government departments and state corporations and banks will resume their routine operations.

Within the Colombo district, one-third of all state sector employees must report to work, the government said, while in other districts 50% of government workers are required to do the same. All employees in government institutions who do not commute to work have been ordered to work from home.

The private sector, meanwhile, has been directed to open their workplaces at 10am. Those who need to report to work and those who can work from home will be at the discretion of the employer.

Both state and private sector workplaces have been ordered to follow health officials’ instructions to the letter, the government said.

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