Health restrictions further relaxed, states Health Ministry

Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Health Services Director.

The Health Ministry during the past weekend , issued revised guidelines, relaxing the existing restrictions with effect from today. However, the restriction on inter provincial movements will continue till July 19 in order to further contain the spread of the virus.

Under the revised guidelines issued by the Health Ministry to contain the spread of COVID -19 in the country, gymnasiums and indoor sporting centres have been allowed to function in compliance with health guidelines while walkways are also opened only for individual exercises.

According to new health guidelines, Public transport is allowed in all provinces other than Western Province with 50 per cent seating capacity. Transport services in the Western Province are allowed with only 30 per cent seating capacity.

“All Government and private institutions should ensure minimum staff in offices for most essential functions. However the exceptions are decided by the respective head of the institution. All other employees are required to Work From Home (WFH),” the new guidelines state.

Essential in-person office meetings are allowed with maximum 10 persons in attendance. Seminars can be conducted as long as the hybrid online and physical presence does not exceed 25 persons. Garments and other factories can function and farmers can also work in their fields.

Banks and other financial institutions can admit only 10 customers at a time. Dedicated Economic Centres can be opened for the wholesale trade. Bakery and pastry shops can be opened for take away and delivery. Shopping malls can also be opened in all provinces including the Western Province. Places of worship will remain closed. Casinos, night clubs and betting centres too cannot be opened.

Marriage registrations are also allowed with 10 persons in attendance including the bride and the bridegroom. However wedding receptions will still not allowed.

Places of Worships, Cinemas, Theatres, Museums and swimming pools will remain closed while care homes and prisons will be closed for visitors. However, Spas can operate in compliance with the health guidelines.

Funerals (non-COVID) are required to be held within 24 hours of the release of the body from the hospital or Inquirer Into Sudden Deaths with the participation of a maximum 15 persons.

Health Services Director, General Dr. Asela Gunawardena urged the public to strictly comply with the new guidelines issued for the permitted level of functions.

“Restrictions prevailing for the last 14 days will be further relaxed with effect from July 05, 2021. However, a few additional moderate levels of restrictions will remain in the Western province as precautionary measures in view of further controlling the infections of Covid 19,” Dr. Gunawardena said.

He also said that the relaxed restrictions will be effective till July 19 and  requested all to adhere to DReAM (D Physical Distancing, No gathering, mainly stay at home, Re–Respiratory Etiquette, A- Aseptic practices: hand wash and hand sanitizing , M Proper use of Facemasks).

These guidelines are subject to change at any time depending on any new developments with regard to the COVID spread.