Lockdown aims to break the chain of virus transmission, Minister says

The measures imposed on people’s movement were not adopted for the sake of punishment but for breaking the chain of virus transmission, Minister of the Interior Nicos Nouris and Deputy Minister Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriacos Kokkinos have said.

Nouris and Kokkinos gave a press conference as lockdown measures came into force on 18:00 local time and will be in place until April 13. As of today, anyone going outdoors must have fill out a printed form explaining the reasons or send an SMS to the authorities.

The measures will include exceptions for certain reasons and only for three hours maximum.

However, both Nouris and Kokkinos stressed that those who try to abuse the system will be subject to fines stipulated in the Decree.

In his opening remarks, Nouris quoted the President’s televised address yesterday that “we are at war which we can only win if we stay in our shelters.”

He also appealed to everyone’s social conscience and the sense of solidarity and the sense of belonging in the society “which tries to respond to an unprecedented attack.”

“What’s at stake is none other than the health of our own people, our family,” he added.

On his part, Kokkinos said that no one should abuse the system and that the whole process is simple, noting however the system’s control could be more punitive if necessary.

There are two type of forms. The first is an authorisation from one’s employer, to be filled out and signed by the employer; self-employed persons must fill out and sign the form themselves.

The second form concerns going out for non-work reasons and each individual must fill it out and sign it to request exemption from the restrictions for day-to-day movements.

This second form currently lists eight different reasons for going out: visiting a pharmacy, a doctor, or for a blood donation; visiting a store to obtain essential goods or services; visiting a bank if a transaction cannot be done online; absolutely necessary visits to state services, public-sector services or municipal services; visiting persons who are unable to help themselves or are in self-isolation or quarantine; going outdoors for exercise or to walk one’s pet, for two persons at a maximum and the distance is close to one’s residence; going to ceremonies like funerals, weddings or baptisms, provided you are a first-degree or second-degree relative and the gathering must be no more than 10 people at any one time; any other reason (generic) for moving outside that may be justified despite the restrictions.

The forms should be filled out before an individual goes outdoors.

People should send an SMS requesting permission to go outside. The SMS must be sent to the number 8998 (no charge).

To compose the SMS, first type a number from 1 to 8 corresponding to one of the eight reasons you are going outside; then space; your ID number; space; your post code; and then send the message.

Source: Cyprus News Agency

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