While the month-long curfew will be relaxed between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. from tomorrow (20 April) in 18 districts and in the rest of the districts from 22 April onward, there will be several restrictions in place with movement between districts confined to essential services including office work.

Here are some of the other restrictions that will be in effect as the country opens up after a month  under curfew:-

• Schools, universities, tuition classes and other education institutes and cinemas will remain closed until further notice.

• Only 1/3rd of the total workforce of the state organizations located within the Colombo district should report to work. 50% of the staff of the state organizations in other districts should report to work. All the employees of the state sector who are not required to report for work in office should work from their homes. The responsibility to decide who should come to office and who should work from home lies with head of each organization.

• Measures recommended by the health authorities to control the spread of the virus should strictly be adhered to during office hours. The head of the organization is responsible for the provisions of facilities required to follow the recommended health guidelines.

• The private sector entities should open for work at 10 a.m daily. Head of each organization has the freedom to decide who should report to work and their number. These organizations too, should strictly follow the coronavirus prevention measures endorsed by health authorities.

• The Transport Board and the Railway Department must ensure transport facilities for the employees who report for work. Although, the number of staff attached to state institutes has been numerically limited, it is mandatory for the state transport and other essential services to function in full strength.

• Buses, vans and rail carriages should transport only half the passengers of their full capacity. It is required to disinfect all the vehicles. The Government requests the private passenger transport organizations to resume their services obliging these conditions.

• All forms of functions, pilgrimages and pleasure tours, carnivals, processions and meetings are banned until further notice. Since the congregation of people is a hindrance to the preventive measures to control the spread of the virus, the Government also requests to suspend all religious festivals.

The President’s Media Division (PMD) said yesterday the prime objective of all these measures including imposing curfew is to protect the people from this pandemic and warned that the risk has not yet subsided completely.

"The Government requests the public to follow all the health guidelines and act in a responsible manner with patience to close all avenues leading to the spread of the disease. The Government emphasizes the necessity of remaining in homes without traveling outside except for work. The public are requested not to gather in large numbers at marketplaces for panic buying once the curfew is lifted," the PMD said.