Curfew in the high risk districts of Colombo and Gampha will remain, however work will commence from tomorrow(11) and both public and private sector employees can travel to work by showing their office identification, an email, sms or Whatsapp message on their mobile phones, showing their proof of employment to the thousands of military and police personnel who will be deployed on the roads to maintain the health guidelines..
While a curfew will remain in place in these districts, DIG Ajith Rohana said that economic activities will resume and public transport would be available for those only traveling to work. Those who wish to travel on public transport for other purposes, will not be permitted to board as passengers will be allowed to enter only by showing their proof of employment.
However all statements have failed to elaborate on the working class who have their own small businesses and who depend on trading and who do not possess a valid proof of employment.
Meanwhile, Director General of Health Services, Dr Anil Jasinghe, has informed Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera not to facilitate public transport for regular passengers for another two weeks.
The directive was given considering the fact that regular passengers might rush to use public transport services once the curfew is relaxed from today.
Meanwhile, Rohana further said public sector employees using their own vehicles were advised to travel to office before 8.30 am while private sector employees have been advised to travel from 8.30 a.m and 10 a.m. The timings will need to be maintained to ease the traffic congestion on the roads.
In the afternoon, public sector employees who will be traveling in their own vehicles have been advised to travel back home between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and private sector employees between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Rohana said that three wheelers and taxi services will be available for those traveling to work but they needed to maintain the health guidelines by carrying two passengers only.
Construction sites, beauty salons and other businesses are allowed to resume work from today, subject to adhering to the guidelines issued to them. Public Health Officers will be visiting these sites from today to probe if the one meter distancing and other health guidelines are being followed.
Further, Rohana said hotels can operate, but restaurants will not be permitted to resume their operations. The authorities are particular with this regulation, in order to discourage the gathering of large crowds, Rohana said. He also mentioned that restaurants or shops that sell cooked food, tea, fruit juice etc., and gyms, spas or night clubs are not permitted to resume operations as yet.
However restaurants can continue their online delivery system.
Grocery stores and supermarkets can re-open all their outlets today but have to ensure that a few customers are taken in at each time while a safe one meter distance is maintained. Rohana explained public can access the supermarkets and grocery shops only through the NIC last digit based system which will come in force from today and the public should not use their vehicles to visit these stores and supermarkets to but their essential items. According to the NIC system, people who have 1 or 2 as the last digit in their NICs can go to their nearby shops and supermarkets by walking today and vehicles cannot be used to purchase essential items from the store.
All other places such as shopping malls, cinemas and places which congregate people will be closed until further notice and all business establishments within these premises will also remain closed. All garment stores will also remain closed.
Rohana's statement however failed to mention anything about the traders in Fort who still remain unsure if they can resume work from today.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a statement released yesterday said that while government and private sector institutions will begin functioning with a limited number of employees from today, the number of passengers on trains and buses will be limited.
The Prime Minister said social distancing rules are to be maintained when
commencing work and urged people to be mindful. "At the early stages, when curfew was relaxed in certain districts, people did not observe social distancing norms. However after a while, people became more mindful of the need for social distancing in public places. The public should continue to be mindful of the need for social distancing even after the curfew is relaxed. We should all be aware that even though the spread of Coronavirus has been brought under control, it has not been eradicated completely," the Prime Minister said.
He further said that economic activities would begin from today, random sample testing among members of the public will continue to be carried out. The
quarantine centers will be kept open. Even after the restoration of normalcy has begun, it may be necessary to isolate and lock down certain areas and even to impose police curfews.
"Coronavirus patients may continue to be found, but I believe our health authorities have by now mastered the manner in which such situations should be handled. We will have to maintain a balance between steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease on the one hand and the restoration of normalcy on the other. Even countries like Italy, Britain, France and the USA which experienced tens of thousands of Coronavirus related deaths have now commenced programmes for the gradual restoration of normal life."
"The people fully cooperated with the efforts made to bring the spread of croronavirus under control. We request the people to extend their fullest cooperation once again to the armed forces and police for the phased restoration of normal life in the country," the Prime Minister said.(Jamila Husain)
Hope the security personal on duty are looked after well.
Hand perlee Sunday, 10 May 2020 10:58 PM
Who oxygen source of this information?
Mr Sunday, 10 May 2020 11:35 PM
Nothing has been said about the construction site works, such as building Infra and other related works, only garment sector and shopping malls do not congregate there are other places too, I feel should had defined wrt to table form
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