Inter-provincial travel restrictions strictly enforced, COVID Committee decides


* Vehicles to be checked at provincial borders

* Extra scrutiny over long weekend

* Amended health guidelines issued

It has been decided to strictly enforce the inter-provincial travel restrictions that are currently in effect until October 21. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the Security Forces to closely and strictly monitor the vehicular movements at all provincial borders due to the long weekend with holidays on October 19 and 20.

The President made these remarks during the meeting of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Control held through video conference yesterday morning, October 15.

Any persons who cannot prove a genuine reason for crossing the provinces will be turned back.

“Another 600,000 Pfizer vaccine doses are scheduled to arrive next Monday and the already ordered vaccines are being received uninterruptedly,” said Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, a member of the COVID Committee.

The President pointed out the need to study the measures that should be taken to further reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths and the need to further isolate the relevant areas where patients are being reported.

Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya informed the COVID Committee that the Home Quarantine process adopted by the health sector to control the spread of COVID-19 virus has been highly commended by the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of Health Services made further amendments to the existing COVID-19 health guidelines issued to control the spread of the virus within the country.

Accordingly, the new guidelines will be in effect until October 31.

As per the guidelines cinemas will be permitted to open with 25 per cent of the total capacity after 21st of this month. Meanwhile, weddings will be permitted with maximum of 50 guests indoors and 75 outdoors.

Meanwhile, restaurants (dining in) will be permitted to accommodate customers not exceeding 30 per cent capacity and with an upper limit of 50 customers. However, liquor will not be permitted. Outdoors, a maximum of 60 customers will be permitted.

Supermarkets, consumer good shops etc. can accommodate customers not exceeding 20 per cent of capacity.

Banks and financial institutions can only accommodate maximum of five customers (inside) at any given time. Non-COVID funerals will be allowed to be held with 20 people at any given time.