The Ministry of Health today issued a comprehensive set of guidelines focused on the “new normal” with timelines on when most activities can resume.
Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe said that activities not listed in the document can be clarified from the local Public Health Inspector.
The Health Ministry said that the 'Advocacy Brief on resumption of public activities during gradual exit from existing restrictions for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka' is to support the process to occur in a manageable and feasible manner.
This is to enable resumption of economic, administrative and social activities, keeping in mind public health principles, in order to prevent spread of the disease.
The document notes that bars/taverns and nightclubs will remain closed until further notice, while the zoo and museums will also be closed.
The guidelines also propose less use of paper and more online use, including at work and for purchases.
Restrictions on social gatherings have also been mentioned including no more than 10 people at most social events.
The document also states that there is a vulnerability for teachers and students in preschool settings. As a result the resumption of functions of preschools will be postponed until further notice is given by health authorities.
The Health Ministry said that in development of the Advocacy brief, a range of public and organization activities and functions were considered together with their functional risks, keeping in mind the urgency to inform all stakeholders and the need for equity, following a rights-based approach.
In compiling the document, the WHO recommendations and other evidence-based standards were considered and adapted to the country and specific context and are presented in a simple, easily understandable format.
The timeline approach presented in the brief allows decision-making to be reviewed in keeping with the epidemiological pattern of the disease.(Easwaran Rutnam)