The Health Ministry today issued revised health guidelines to be followed by the general public until May 31.
These guidelines are supported by the previous guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health on relaxation of public activities in response to COVID 19.
The Ministry said the COVID 19 situation in the country is subject to change from time to time and the level of activity permitted and number of people engaged in these functions will need to change.
Moreover, the Ministry has introduced an alert level system based on an understanding of public and work settings in Sri Lanka. Four levels of alert are identified in Sri Lanka based on following:
Alert level 1- Cases reported are only those coming from outside the country (detected in quarantine); no clusters
Alert level 2- One cluster of cases
Alert level 3- Several clusters in different districts
Alert level 4- Cases are appearing with no connection to any cluster - Community transmission
According to the current epidemiological situation after the New Year, some restrictions need to be imposed to reduce the risk of transmission. Sri Lanka is currently at alert level 3.
Several important guidelines are as follows,
Only two persons per household are permitted to go outside unless engaged in essential services.
The public transport - Only allowed to transport seated passengers of the bus/train
Private taxi service - The maximum number of passengers is limited to two for cars and trishaws while for other types of vehicles, it is limited to transport seated passengers only.
Private sector offices - With minimum number of staff required. Others to work from home where feasible.
According to the new guidelines, the schools and preschools are allowed with 50 percent of capacity while tuition classes are not allowed. Universities will remain closed.
When it comes to holding of weddings, they can be held with a maximum of 150 guests adhering to the instructions given.
Public gatherings, parties are also not allowed under the revised guidelines.
In addition, spas, day rooms and home stays will be closed while hotels, rest houses and guest houses can be operated with a maximum of 50 percent of the total capacity.
Cinemas and theatres can be operated with a maximum of 25 percent while children’s parks, carnivals, musical shows and beach parties are not allowed under the revised guidelines. (Sheain Fernandopulle)