Follow The Rule or Get Arrested!
By Treshan Fernando
The system where people may travel based on the last digit of their National Identity Card (NIC) will begin from today (17), Police Spokesman, DIG Ajith Rohana said. However, he added that individuals may leave their homes only between 4:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and they may only do so for essential purposes. Today, those whose NIC numbers end in odd numbers, that is 1,3,5,7 or 9, may travel to their nearest retailer to purchase essential goods, DIG Rohana added.
DIG Rohana warned that whilst previously those who violated this system were not arrested, from today onwards Police teams have been deployed to ensure that this system is being followed and those in violation of this rule will be arrested.
Those leaving their homes are required to always carry their NICs with them. If an individual does not have the NIC, he/she may carry the passport or driving licence. However, DIG Rohana stated that their ability to leave their homes will still depend on their NIC number and not their passport or driving licence number.
DIG Rohana urged those who can work from home to refrain from travelling to office. Yet, employees who must attend work will be allowed to do so, irrespective of the last digit of their NIC number. He also said these employees must still carry their NICs and a document from their employers confirming that they must attend work. Additionally, this group is only allowed to travel to and from their workplace and should not travel elsewhere, DIG Rohana added. Foreigners will be allowed to go out based on the last digit of their respective passport, DIG Rohana clarified.
However, he said this is only for essential purposes and is not to be taken as a permit to travel freely. Public transport will be allowed to operate between 4:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. from today, but drivers and conductors must ensure that their capacity is restricted. Taxis, including cars and three-wheelers, are only allowed to carry two passengers and the driver, DIG Rohana further said.
Those travelling in private vehicles are not required to wear face masks. He made it clear that the drivers and conductors will be responsible in ensuring that their transport is following the given health guidelines. Banks, clothing stores, grocery stores, shops and other retailers will be allowed to open, but only at 25 per cent capacity, DIG Rohana said. The managers and supervisors of these outlets are tasked with the responsibility of following this rule. Economic centres and markets are also allowed to remain open, but following the 25 per cent capacity rule.
Export-oriented factory zones will be able to continue, but only within their bio-bubble. Spas, cinemas, clubs, pubs, bars, beaches, casinos, pools, public parks, gyms, sports grounds and other public festivals and gatherings are not allowed to open even between 4:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., stressed DIG Rohana. He added that parties have also been banned and Police will arrest not only the partygoers, but also the managers of the locations where the parties will be held.
However, those who wish to walk in isolation will be allowed to do so, DIG Rohana went on to say. All day-care centres, preschools, schools, and universities will remain closed, and no physical activities will take place, DIG Rohana said. However, agricultural activities are permitted go ahead as usual, within one’s own field. People living in isolated areas will not be removed from their restrictions from today, DIG Rohana stressed.
These areas will remain isolated, and residents should contact their respective Grama Niladhari Division for further clarification. DIG Rohana also warned the public to beware of fake news circulating on social media and to rely on registered news outlets for their information. He said the CID and the Police IT Division are investigating this issue.