Procedures for individuals required to self-isolate under decrees to contain the spread of coronavirus will change after instances of people breaking the rules, government spokesman Kyriakos Koushios said on Wednesday.
He told Antenna TV that the issue had been discussed in today’s session of the Council of Ministers.
Experts have voiced concern that such incidents as well as crowding at venues such as those reported over the long weekend threatens the progress Cyprus has achieved in containing the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a report in Phileleftheros on Wednesday, authorities in the past couple of days have had to chase down repatriates and contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases who should have been in self-isolation.
In a couple of cases, the Health Ministry’s epidemiological monitoring unit was obliged to ask for the help of other public authorities to help track down individuals who should have been in self-isolation so as to inform them that they needed to undergo the Covid-19 test but were not responding to the unit’s phone calls.
One person was at the beach and another at a fast food restaurant.
Koushios told Antenna that President Nicos Anastasiades had been briefed by the Health and Justice Minister and had given instructions for an immediate investigation of all the cases.
He said that police and the health services have been notified and added that the procedures are changing as regards the information that those individuals required to remain in self-isolation must submit.
They must now make a written declaration with the address of where they will be self-isolating and give a landline number — rather than of a mobile — so that authorities can check.
They will also be informed of the consequence should they break the rules.
The Justice Minister has meanwhile instructed police to report individuals who the Health Ministry has found broke self-isolation although an out of court fine is not considered adequate, the spokesman said.
Under the law as it stands, people who break the quarantine law can be taken to court where they face a penalty of a fine of up to €3000 and/or jail of six months.