- The restriction will be similar to a curfew but authorities refuse to term it so
- All public transport will come to a halt
- Only essential services will operate
By JAMILA HUSAIN
An islandwide travel restriction will come into effect from 11 pm tonight which will be in effect till 4 am on Monday to prevent people from leaving their homes as the new coronavirus spreads at a rapid pace across all the districts, overburdening the health sector.
Army Commander Shavendra Silva told Daily Mirror that the travel restriction, which is similar to a curfew, will be strictly implemented and people have been urged to stay home till Monday when it is lifted.
However authorities have refused to term it as a curfew and have insisted to maintain it as a travel restriction instead.
Only essential services, food trucks and medical workers will be allowed to be on the roads and pass through while no one else will be allowed.
Supermarkets, restaurants and all other business establishments will not be allowed to operate till Monday.
Public transport islandwide will also come to a halt.
Security will be beefed up on the roads to ensure that the restrictions are obeyed so that authorities can stop the further spread of the COVID-19 which has already infected over 20,000 people in May. From Monday, May 17, when the islandwide travel restriction is lifted, a nightime travel restriction will then come into effect from 11 pm to 4 am daily till May 31 to prevent people from venturing outside in the nights.
All business establishements including restaurants will be required to close at 10 pm daily till the end of the month so that their staff can return back home before 11 pm when the restriction comes into effect.
Meanwhile the vaccination program will continue in several districts even during the travel restriction and people who wish to be vaccinated can go to their nearest center carrying their NIC. If stopped by authorities they have been requested to inform them that they have left homes for the vaccination jabs and they will then be assisted to their nearest centers.