Sri Lanka to maintain inter-province travel ban


Sri Lanka’s Army Commander Gen. Shavendra Silva said that the inter-province travel ban will remain in place until further notice despite the lifting of the nationwide quarantine curfew from Friday onwards.

Silva said no citizen would be allowed to cross the provinces in a bid to prevent a further spread of Covid-19, reports Xinhua news agency.

Security guards will be deployed on all borders of the provinces and no one will be allowed to go through except essential workers and those employed in certain sectors including construction and tourism.

State Minister of Transport Dilum Amunugama said inter-province train services and bus services will also continue to be suspended for another two weeks till permission is granted by health workers.

Amunugama said the Transport Ministry had been advised not to resume the train services due to lack of seats in compartments and most of the commuters travel by trains standing.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday instructed authorities to lift the ongoing nationwide quarantine curfew on Friday as the country saw a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Silva told Xinhua that the nationwide curfew would be lifted on Friday under the President’s directive but health guidelines would be issued accordingly.

A nationwide quarantine curfew came into effect on August 20 as the country faced a rapid third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, triggered by the highly contagious Delta variant, health officials said.

The country has to date detected 516,465 Covid-19 cases with 12,847 deaths.