Authorities will this week hold discussions with all hotel owners across the country to encourage guests who are heading out of Colombo for the holidays to produce a negative PCR test before they check in to prevent a further spread of the COVID-19, Army Commander Lt. General Shavendra Silva told Daily Mirror.
Silva said that while the Western Province was a hotbed for the virus, people leaving the Western Province were encouraged to get themselves tested before leaving the province so that they could prevent a possible spread in the other provinces.
"We will inform the hotel owners to encourage their guests to do PCR tests before they check in so that they can all be safe. Once a negative test is produced at the hotel, guests will be very comfortable to move around with each other," Silva said.
Further, Silva said they encouraged people not to leave Colombo this festive season due to the ongoing pandemic. While no lockdown will be imposed, he said the coming five days will be crucial and if people adhered to all health guidelines, then they could see a decline in the numbers by the end of the month.
He said those however leaving the Western Province for the Christmas holidays will be subject to tests at the exit points including the southern expressway to detect COVID-19.
Further, he said Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had also requested Catholics to celebrate Christmas under a low profile this season and to curtail celebrations as much as possible. Those celebrating were also encouraged to move around in small, known groups so that they were confident that they were not associating with possible COVID-19 patients. (JAMILA HUSAIN)