(Courtesy Wikepedia.org)

The government has released a set of guidelines to be adhered to by public officers when they resume work the week starting April 20.

This follows the lifting of the curfew in some areas of the country, which has been in effect for nearly a month, in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

According to a communique released by the Presidential Secretariat on April 19, all government officers have been requested to strictly comply with social distancing, wearing of face masks, washing of hands and ensuring that good sanitary practices are maintained in all shared spaces such as countertops, lunch rooms, toilets etc.    As well, soap and water/or hand sanitizers are to be provided in easily accessible places in offices visited by the public.

Except in the Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam districts and any other areas declared vulnerable by the Director of Health Services, all government offices will operate with only 50% of the staff, working on a rotational basis.  In the districts mentioned above, and any other vulnerable areas, the government has asked that only 20% of the cadre be brought into work.

While work from home will be in force for most staff, heads of department have been instructed to introduce two separate work hours for those reporting to the office, to prevent overcrowding at workplaces and also in public transport.

All staff working from home are also required to allocate some time for gardening daily, to help supplement their food supply.

Meanwhile, the private sector has been advised to start work at 10 a.m.

While schools, vocational institutes and universities remain closed, on-line learning and educational programmes are to be made available via Channel Eye and Nethra TV stations from April 20th.  Here, general educational programmes will be available from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. while vocational and higher educational programmes will be telecast from 9.30 p.m. to midnight.

Meanwhile an announcement released by the Presidential Secretariat on Saturday, April 18th, provided details on how the curfew, in force this past month, is being lifted around the country in phases.  Accordingly, other than in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Kegalle, Puttalam and Ampara, the curfew will be lifted at 5 a.m. on the 20th and re-imposed at 8 p.m. and will be in force in this manner until further notice.   However, this will not apply to the police divisions of Warakapola, Alawathugoda, Akkaraipattu and Akurana where there will be no lifting of the curfew.

The curfew is scheduled to be lifted in the Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts on April 22, at 5 a.m. and re-imposed at 8 p.m., and will be in force in this manner until further notice.  However,  the curfew will not be lifted in  Kotahena, Grandpass, Keselwatte, Bambalapitiya,  Maradana, Gothatuwa, Wellampitiya, Dehiwela, Kohuwela and Mt.Lavinia police divisions in the Colombo District,  Ja-Ela, Seeduwa and Kochchikade in the Gampaha district, Bandaragama, Payagala, Beruwela and Aluthgama in the Kalutara district and  Puttalam, Marawila and Wennapuwa in the Puttalam district.

The full circulars can be read here.



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