Police chief Kypros Michaelides has ordered an investigation after Aradippou Mayor Evangelos Evangelides was captured on video taking Holy Communion on Saturday morning.
In an announcement issued late on Saturday, police said that the mayor has been fined and an investigation is underway as to whether others violated the decree.
Police added that members of the public are forbidden from going to places of worship, except in the case of funerals, weddings and christenings for first and second degree relatives in groups of a maximum of 10.
Decrees to contain the spread of coronavirus specifically prohibit the faithful from going to church.
However arrangements have been made for services to be broadcast on radio and TV. Many churches have also arranged for a live stream on various websites so that the faithful can watch and listen to the service from their homes.
Videos posted online show the mayor at the church of Apostolos Loukas attending the church service and taking Holy Communion.
Aradippou residents took to social media to say that they have complied with the measures and the government’s decisions and stayed home.
The mayor argues that he went to church to help the priests and that there were only 10 people there, philenews reports
Police spokesman Christos Andreou said the police chief has ordered an investigation. The mayor was issued an out of court fine of €300, he added.
According to the latest figures Aradippou municipality has the highest number of coronavirus cases with 147, more than twice the 62 cases recorded in Paphos.
Late on Saturday, police issued an announcement saying they were continuing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus by checking on compliance with ministerial decrees.
After investigating media reports and video showing the mayor of Aradippou at a church and taking Holy Communion, police leadership gave instructions for a full inquiry, the announcement added.
“Within this framework the mayor of Aradippou was booked for violating the quarantine decrees and investigations are underway to determine whether any other person committed any other offence. No one is exempted from the decrees and no one is above the law,” police said.
The faithful are prohibited from going to a place of worship under the decree and this holds true for the Easter service tonight and the other services that will follow, the announcement added.
The only exception is for ceremonies (funerals, weddings, christenings) from first and second degree relatives that must not exceed more than 10 people, police clarified.
“Police will continue to take all necessary actions to implement the decrees and will not be lenient with anyone,” the announcement concluded.
The mayor can be seen taking Holy Communion at 2.08 in the video from the live stream of the church service.