More restrictions relaxed in several sectors

Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Director-General of Health Services.

The Director-General of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardena, issuing new health guidelines on the 16th have further relaxed restrictions imposed to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Issuing a statement, Dr. Asela Gunawardena urged the public to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 related health guidelines on activities in sectors permitted to reopen from the 16th.

He also requested to operate all State and Private Institutions in accordance with the ‘New Normal’. The Director-General of Health Services further added that the decision to relax restrictions had been taken after reviewing the current COVID-19 situation in Sri Lanka.

Accordingly, places of worship have been reopened, while religious festivals have also been allowed under strict health guidelines. A separate set of guidelines is to be issued with respect to religious festivals.

The National Zoological Gardens are permitted to reopen with a 25 per cent capacity to be admitted at a time.

Meanwhile, Children’s parks have also been permitted to open from yesterday, where the public must strictly adhere to the health guidelines.

National Wildlife Parks have also been reopened from today. The area between the driver’s seat and passengers must be separated on safari vehicles with the drivers and trackers having to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits during the tour. The health guidelines must be strictly followed by all parties during the safaris.

Adventure and camping sites have also been reopened under strict health guidelines and all forms of sports, individual and group, except those that require physical contact, have been permitted from yesterday.

Dr. Gunawardena further added that the hostels and boarding houses have also been permitted to operate.

Betting Centres have also been reopened and must operate under strict health guidelines.

The Director-General of Health Services added that despite the easing of travel restrictions, it is not applicable to areas that are under isolation.

Indoor musical shows have also been permitted under a 50 per cent customer capacity or based on the seating arrangement of the area. The events must be held in strict adherence to the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. However, outdoor musical shows and carnivals remain prohibited until further notice.