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Up to a hundred can now gather at Temples, Churches and Mosques as the rules are further relaxed

SMALL CROWDS – Flower baskets lie empty as only small groups have been allowed into this temple the Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya/EconomyNext

ECONOMYNEXT – With the government increasingly confident that there is no community spread of the COVD 19 virus, the Health Authorities say there is a relaxation of the rules where people gather.

Senior officials at the Ministry of Health told EconomyNext that Temples, Kovils, Churches and Mosques can now hold worship for 100 people at a time.

The number to gather at weddings and political rallies has also been increased to a hundred they said.

Previously all gatherings were limited to 50 individuals.

The Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine sent letters to the Muslim Council saying that 100 worshippers may be allowed into the prayer hall at the Mosques from tomorrow for the weekly Friday prayers.

However strict instructions have been given to ensure all the attendees adhere to Health Ministry COVID 19 guidelines such as the wearing of masks and the maintenance of social distancing of at least one-metre.

Yesterday Minister of Industrial Export, Investment Promotion and Civil Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga told a meeting that the government is considering revising the number of guests permitted to attend weddings and other functions to 200.

The Minister told a meeting held with the Sri Lanka Reception Halls and Caterers’ Association that a proposal in this regard has been submitted to the Presidential Task Force at the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO).

The Ministry officials we spoke to said that no such decision has been announced by them.

However they said “it depends on the size of the hall where a larger number can be accommodated.”

The Government had restricted the number of persons permitted to attend weddings and other functions due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The last patient reported from the community was on April 30.

On May 21 Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi declared that there is no more community transmission of the virus. (Colombo, June 25, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana