Police to arrest anyone failing to ensure social distancing

The Police have been granted powers to arrest persons who fail to maintain social distancing or wear face masks from tomorrow (26), Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Ajith Rohana said.

DIG Rohana said the powers were vested with the Police through a circular issued by the Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe.

The Police curfew that was imposed from 20 March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is to be completely lifted during the day in all districts from tomorrow until further notice.

However, the curfew will be enforced from 10.00 p.m. to 4.00 a.m. daily.

A total of 55,000 Police officers have been deployed on 3 shifts, along with officers from the intelligence unit and CCTV cameras will also be used to monitor those violating the quarantine law, DIG Ajith Rohana said.

He said all those who violate the quarantine law will be arrested, while the Police intend to produce in court the suspects with video evidence.

The law pertaining to the quarantine and curfew is applicable to all citizens of Sri Lanka and not limited to a certain race or religion.

Stringent legal action will be taken against those who violate the quarantine law, DIG Rohana added.

Commenting on the movements between districts being permitted for all districts, except for Colombo and Gampaha from tomorrow, DIG Ajith Rohana said people will only be permitted to enter or exit the Colombo and Gampaha districts, for official or medical purposes.

Meanwhile, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said all factories, offices and stores, as well as public transportation resuming operations tomorrow must adhere to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of health, such as using hand sanitizers, wearing face masks and repeatedly washing hands.

Private and Public Institutions have been vested with the power to decide on the departments to operate and number of employees to report to work, based on the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.(Colombo Gazette)