New measures to curb spread of coronavirus in place across Cyprus

Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou announced a new package of measures on Wednesday evening, after a meeting of the Council of Ministers, presided over by President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, aimed at curbing the further spread of the coronavirus on the island.


The measures, which came into effect on Thursday, include an island-wide curfew from 2300 to 0500, excluding medical emergencies and commuting for work purposes, with the presentation of proof.


Restaurants and cafeterias will close at 2230. Gatherings at houses and public places should not exceed ten persons, including minors.


Ioannou told a press conference after the cabinet meeting that these measures would be in place until November 30.


He also announced further measures for the Limassol and Paphos districts, from November 5 till 16.


The measures are separated into three categories. Specifically, there are medium-term measures on an island-wide basis from November 5, 2020, till January 15, 2021, emergency island-wide measures from November 5 to 30, and emergency measures for Limassol and Paphos from November 5 to 16.


The medium-term measures on an island-wide basis from November 5, 2020, till January 15, 2021, include current measures, namely indoor and outdoor cinemas, theatres and other showrooms will operate to 50% of their capacity, meetings, assemblies and events in indoor conference centres may host a maximum of 250 persons observing the protocols and the one person per 3-square-metre rule, without coffee breaks or cocktails.


Supermarkets, minimarkets, grocery stores, butcheries and pharmacies will serve customers over 65 years of age and those with disabilities from opening time till 0900 and from 1300 till 1400.


Protective masks must be worn by the general public aged 12+, indoors and outdoors.


Regarding weddings and baptisms, from November 13, 2020, till January 15, 2021, cocktail parties and congratulations are prohibited. Physical presence at luncheons or dinners is allowed with the maximum number of guests set at 150, with six persons per table.


The island-wide measures from November 5 to 30 allow for the presence of a maximum of ten persons at gatherings in houses and public places, including minors. This measure excludes dining establishments, which will be open until 2230.


Ioannou clarified that dining establishments include restaurants, hotel and tourist establishment dining areas, shopping centre and mall food halls, taverns, cafeterias, pizza parlours, pubs, snack bars, bars, coffee shops and the canteens of sports, cultural and other facilities. These establishments can offer delivery services beyond 2230. The ban excludes the dining and refreshment areas of the Larnaca and Paphos airports.


The maximum number of persons at dining establishments is set at 75 indoors and 150 outdoors, while the maximum number of persons per reservation is set at a maximum of six.


Furthermore, there will be a curfew from 2300 till 0500 the next day, excluding medical emergencies and commuting for work, with the presentation of proof.


Religious ceremonies can host a maximum of 75 persons, observing the protocols in place. Sports games are allowed in the context of championships, without spectators, observing protocols. Children’s play areas are allowed a maximum of 50 persons indoors and 150 outdoors, observing the measure for distancing based on the floor area of each establishment. Parties are play areas are restricted to ten persons, including children. At gyms, the use of changing rooms is prohibited.


Regarding the emergency measures for the Limassol and Paphos districts, from November 5 to 16, the Minister of Health said they were taken due to the worsening of the epidemiological picture and the increased epidemiological load.


Ioannou explained that the latest data were taken into consideration, indicating that for the period from October 17 to 30 in the Limassol district the cumulative effect was 420 persons per 100,000, and the cumulative effect for the Paphos district was 294:100,000 persons, almost triple compared to the previous fortnight, despite the measures in place.


From November 5 to 16, in Limassol and Paphos, all group sports and social activities for children under 18 years of age are prohibited, as are all sports championships for that age group. This measure also applies to indoor and outdoor play areas, and gyms.


Furthermore, to protect workers, the Minister of Health recommends adopting a series of practices, such as work from home, with priority given to persons in vulnerable groups of the population. He also recommends separating the staff into groups, so that they do not come into contact with each other. Teleconferences and reducing contacts are also recommended.


Ioannou said that the situation in Cyprus is exceptionally difficult at this time but nevertheless can be placed under control by observing the measures.


He noted that the measures taken are preventive and repressive, and that the government is ready and has a plan. Ioannou called on each and every citizen to contribute to this effort.


Source: Cyprus News Agency


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