Sri Lanka Makes Masks Mandatory Under New Quarantine Laws, to Impose Fine if Rule Violated
Sri Lankan health officials take swab samples from employees of the Colombo municipal council to test for COVID-19 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File)
Colombo: Sri Lanka has issued a new gazette on coronavirus quarantine regulation, making not wearing of masks and failure in maintaining of social distance a punishable offence with six months of imprisonment or Rs 10,000 fine. Under the new norms gazetted on Thursday, wearing of masks is compulsory all time and maintaining social distance of not less than one metre between two persons Among the foremost of new regulations are that every person in public must wear a face mask at all times and maintain social distancing of not less than one metre between two persons, the Gazette said.
Police said anybody violating the regulation would be subject to a 10, 000 rupees fine or a six month’s imprisonment. The regulations extend to cover supermarkets, retail shops and public transport.
All institutions are compelled to make a register of persons entering the premises, according to the Gazette. The new gazette follows the ongoing spike where since October 4 some 19 areas in the Western province’s Gampaha district were placed under police curfew due to the latest cluster involving a garment export factory. The curfew was later extended to the locality around the international airport where export promotion zone employees tens of thousands of factory workers. Till Thursday, Sri Lanka had recorded 5,244 cases out of which 3,380 had recovered with only 13 deaths since mid March. The garment export factory as the biggest cluster had provided 1,720 cases by Thursday .
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