Sri Lanka declares islandwide travel restrictions from May 21

Sri Lankan authorities on Monday announced that an islandwide travel restriction will be imposed at 11:00 p.m. local time on May 21 till 4:00 a.m. on May 25 in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Army Commander and Head of the National Operations Center for the Prevention of COVID-19, General Shavendra Silva told Xinhua that once the islandwide travel restriction, which will be similar to a curfew, is lifted on the morning of May 25, it will be imposed once again at 11:00 p.m. on that day till 4:00 a.m. on May 28.

He said people will be given a few hours to go out on May 25 to stock up on essential items.

“We urge people to strictly follow this travel restriction in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The coming three weeks are extremely crucial and hope to break the spread of the virus,” Silva said.

Only essential services and employees from the apparel sector will be permitted to travel during the travel restriction, Silva said.

Sri Lanka has to date detected over 144,000 COVID-19 cases and over 900 deaths.

Health experts said a new variant of the COVID-19 was spreading across the country and has infected over 30,000 people since May.

Sri Lanka imposed a similar islandwide travel restriction from May 13 which was lifted in the early hours of Monday.

Health experts have warned that the new virus has become airborne and strict health guidelines should be followed.