Cyprus Health Minister announces two-week lockdown as coronavirus cases spike
Cyprus’ Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou announced on Friday a two week lockdown beginning on Monday the 26th of April at 5am, until Sunday 9th of May at midnight, as coronavirus cases have recently spiked and the burden on the state hospitals is increasing.
The Minister said that the Council of Ministers decided to take strict measures for a short period of time. Measures include an evening curfew that will begin at 21:00 until 05:00 am (instead of 23:00 today). Exceptions include going to work or to a medical centre, hospital or pharmacy or a vet only for emergencies.
Church services will be held without attendees. Only on Saturday before the Greek Orthodox Easter (1st of May) the curfew will begin at 01:00 am (morning of Sunday) so that church attendees can observe the Easter service outside churches (seated), or inside the churches for up to 50 persons.
Citizens will have the opportunity to get permission to exit their homes by sending one sms per day (instead of two at weekdays and three during weekends that is in force now). For a vaccination appointment, no sms is needed.
Restaurants, cafes, taverns, etc will be closed but they will still have a take away service or delivery service.
Gatherings, public or social events, private or public, indoor or outdoor (eg squares, dams, picnic areas, marinas) are prohibited.
Only on Easter Sunday (May 2), in addition to the permanent residents of a household, the presence in the homes of other people is allowed provided that they come from only two families and that the total number of people in the house does not exceed 10 persons, including minors.
Religious ceremonies (weddings, baptisms, funerals) are allowed with a maximum number of 10 people, while in places of religious worship believers are permitted for the purposes of individual prayer and with a maximum number of 10 people inside.
Public services are subject to mandatory teleworking for at least 20% of staff, with the exception of essential and other services to be determined by a Decree.
The Cabinet decided the increase of the rate of mandatory rapid detection tests on a weekly basis to 50% of employees.
Restaurants, taverns, cafes, pubs, snack bars and bars, cafes and restaurants within shopping malls, canteens and / or sports clubs, cultural clubs, etc. suspend their operations but can still operate home delivery and take away. After 9 pm only home delivery is allowed. Outdoor and indoor theatres, amphitheatres, cinemas, and auditoriums will close.
In addition, retail shops, (except for retail businesses for beverages and food or essential goods) will close, as will gyms, dance schools and schools of other sports. Personal training is allowed in outdoor areas where access is allowed under the Decree with a maximum of two people.
Barber shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, gambling and betting premises will close.
The Minister said that the measures will be lifted on the 10th of May but in places where there is gathering (restaurants etc, gathering places, gym, retail shops, theatres, etc), citizens must have in their possession a rapid test or PCR test valid for 72 hours or have been vaccinated with at least the first dose and three weeks have passed, or have been ill with COVID-19 disease in the last 3 months. He stated that the adoption of the above regulation will enable the easier and safer movement and will allow us to return safely to more normal conditions.
The only way to stop the aggressive transmission caused by the mutant strains of the coronavirus is by vaccination, the Minister concluded.