COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government on Sunday completely lifted a curfew imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus after no new case of community infection was recorded for nearly two months in the country.
Sri Lanka has been under a continuous lockdown since March 20, a week after the first local victim of the pandemic was reported. Initially, a nationwide blanket curfew was imposed but it was later eased for about two-thirds of the country and was mostly confined to nighttime.
The government had ordered partial opening of offices and businesses mid-May.
From early June, the restrictions were further relaxed with public transport being allowed.
The government further relaxed the COVID-19 curfew, which was in force from 11 pm to 4 am, to only four hours from midnight to 4 am daily from June 14 onwards.
"The curfew has completely been lifted effective from today, June 28 Sunday," President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office said in a statement.
According to health authorities, no community coronavirus case was reported in the country since April 30 and no death due to the disease was reported since June 1.
Lanka has so far recorded only 2,033 coronavirus cases and 11 fatalities.
Political observers opine that the lifting of the curfew was mostly due to the need to hold the election for a new Parliament.
Sri Lanka's twice-postponed parliamentary polls will be held on August 5.
President Rajapaksa on March 2 dissolved the Parliament, six months ahead of schedule, and called for snap polls on April 25.
However, the election commission in mid-April postponed the elections by nearly two months to June 20 due to the coronavirus outbreak in the island nation.
The commission last month informed the apex court that the polls cannot be held on June 20 because of the raging coronavirus pandemic.
Subsequently, a new date of August 5 was announced earlier this month following a unanimous decision reached between the members of the election commission.