Police strictly enforce inter-provincial travel ban

Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana.

The Tri-Forces and the Police Special Task Force (STF) will set up roadblocks at all provincial borders from today, May 12, to prevent the movements of people among provinces as per a Presidential directive, Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said.

Travel restrictions between the nine provinces came into effect from midnight yesterday to control the spread of COVID-19. These inter-provincial travel restrictions will be effective until May 31, 2021.

DIG Rohana explained that persons engaged in essential services, such as the Police, Military, health, power, petroleum, water supply, media and private and Government institutions classified as essential services, will be allowed to travel between provinces as per their requirements. They can use their office ID or a signed official document from the company as a valid travel pass.

The DIG stressed that inter-provincial travel for holidays and leisure activities, such as hotel stays and family visits, is strictly banned. Hoteliers are requested to co-operate with the authorities in this regard. Some Governors have also called for inter-district travel to be restricted within their respective provinces to stem the Coronavirus tide.

Meanwhile, leave of all Police and STF personnel has been cancelled with immediate effect until May 31, 2021. However, Police officers residing in isolated areas have been requested not to report to work until the isolation is lifted.

The Police Spokesman also said the people holding gatherings and parties with or without alcohol would be dealt with under the law. Inter-provincial private and Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) bus services were suspended from midnight yesterday until May 30. Based on the decision of imposing travel restrictions between Provinces announced yesterday, both the SLTB and the NTC have decided to suspend all inter-provincial long distance bus services from yesterday.

A SLTB spokesman said a few SLTB inter-provincial buses will be deployed to provide transport for Government sector employees and others engaged in essential services to report for work. Sri Lanka Railways also announced that trains will be operated only within the Provinces.

All banks will close at 1 p.m. from today while liquor stores will close at 6 p.m.

It was also disclosed that the Security Forces will help the health authorities in the vaccination effort (with Sinopharm and Sputnik V) currently underway in several parts of the country.