SL temporarily lifts nationwide travel restriction. Image Source: IANS News

Colombo, June 22 : Sri Lankan authorities have temporarily lifted a nationwide travel restriction which was imposed in May to allow the public to leave their homes for essential work.

Army Commander and Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak, Gen. Shavendra Silva told Xinhua news agency that the country-wide travel restriction has been lifted for three days from Monday.

However, he said only two people from every house were allowed to leave home for essential work while private and state-owned companies were urged to operate on very minimum staff.

Silva said Sri Lanka continued to report a very high number of Covid-19 patients and deaths, calling the public to behave responsibly till the nationwide travel restriction is re-imposed again on Wednesday night.

According to fresh guidelines issued by the Health Ministry on Sunday, supermarkets across Sri Lanka can function on a 25 per cent capacity per time while grocery stores will be allowed to take in only three people per time.

Restaurants will remain closed for dine-in while all public gatherings and weddings will continue to be suspended.

Sri Lanka will re-impose the nationwide travel restriction on Wednesday at 10 p.m. and lift it again on Friday at 4 a.m.

The country is presently facing a third wave of the the pandemic with the new variants causing a rapid spread.

The overall caseload and death toll toll stood at 239,689 and 2,581 currently.

Since April, over 100,000 new cases were reported from a new cluster, health officials have said.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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