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New COVID-19 guidelines related to public activities issued

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The Director-General of Health Services has issued new guidelines pertaining to permitted public activities under ‘Alert Level 3’ amidst the upsurge in virus infections in Sri Lanka.

The new guidelines will be in effect from yesterday (May 01), the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) said.

The guidelines are supported by the previously guidelines and circulars previously issued by the Health Ministry with regard to the relaxation of public activities in response to COVID-19, which include operational details.

Health authorities have introduced an ‘Alert Level’ system based on an understanding of public and work settings in Sri Lanka.

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)

As identified by the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka is currently at Alert Level 3.

The new guidelines are as follows:

01. Conferences/seminars/meetings/brand launches will be banned until May 21. A decision on resumption will be reached upon reviewing the prevailing COVID situation.

02. Supermarkets, shopping malls, financial institutions, textile shops and retail shops should operate within 25% pf the total customer capacity.

03. Events and public gatherings in closed and open spaces are not permitted.

04. People should not gather at religious places of worship.

05. Cinema halls and theatres, children’s parks, swimming pools, pubs and bars, casinos and night clubs, betting centres and spas will be closed.

06. The occupancy in hotels, rest houses and guest houses should be 50% of the total capacity and should not function after 10.00 pm.

07. Carnivals, musical shows, beach parties/festivals will not be allowed.

08.Open markets, fairs and bakeries should operate at 25% of the total customer capacity.

09. Court proceedings will continue with up to 25% of the total capacity open to the general public.

10. Visiting prison inmates is disallowed.

11. Schools, pre-schools, universities and higher education institutions, tuition classes will be closed until further notice. Online education can be continued.

12. Weddings are disallowed from May 04 to May 20. The decision will be revised upon reviewing the country’s situation after May 20.

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