40 days COVID-19 curfew in Sri Lanka ends Oct. 1

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Sri Lanka will reopen the country from Oct. 1, after lifting a 40-day-long curfew imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to Army Commander, Gen. Shavendra Silva.

The directive to open the country came on Wednesday as COVID-19 related deaths dropped to an average of 50 per day, compared to 200 deaths daily two weeks back.

Additionally, the average number of infected persons dropped to less than 1,000 per day for the first time in 83 days.

The government has also decided to allow tourists, who have received both vaccines for COVID-19 and those who possess a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours of travel to the country, to travel on their own.

A Ministry spokesperson said Sri Lanka had previously only allowed tourists to travel in a bubble, ensuring that they always travelled with the same group and had minimal connections with locals.

The new decision will enable tourists to move freely to any destination, he said.

The lockdown was the third time the country has been under a continuous curfew in the past 19 months.

So far, Sri Lanka has reported nearly half a million COVID-19 cases with 12,786 deaths.