A new variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus has been detected in Sri Lanka and the new virus strain is spreading faster than the old strain Professor Neelika Malavige of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura said.

The Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID – 19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Army Commander General Shavendra Silva assuring that there will be no islandwide lockdowns urged the public to restrict their movements during the weekend.

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health raising the alert level in COVID-19 country response issued a series of new instructions on how to engage in common activities and permitted functions up to the end of next month.

The Ministry of Health has issued relevant guidelines and instructions in 48 areas, which are available on the Ministry’s website at www.health.gov.lk.

According to the current epidemiological situation after the New Year, some restrictions needs to be imposed to reduce the risk of transmission, the Ministry said.

State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle has issued instructions as per the country Alert Level 3 on how to engage in public activities in the face of the current coronavirus epidemic.

The Ministry statement contains instructions on how to engage in public activities until May 31st. The announcement includes how to leave house, use public transport, get to work, go to the supermarket, etc. in a safe manner.

Under the new guidelines, only two people are allowed to leave one house or lodge unless they are engaged in essential services or permitted activities.

The Ministry emphasizes that every citizen should take action to abide by the new instructions.

Sri Lanka has re-imposed the 14-day quarantine for the visitors to the country as number of Covid-19 cases sharply increased following the New Year celebrations.

The Media Center for National Development in a Twitter post said the Government has confirmed that to combat the spike and contain the Covid-19 outbreak, the mandatory 14 day quarantine for returnees, tourists & visitors to Sri Lanka is back in effect.

The mandatory quarantine will be applicable to even those who have received a certified vaccination.