Famagusta district court on Tuesday suspended the operation of a venue in Protaras that was reported by police several times over the long weekend for operating without a licence and breaking the quarantine law.
The decision was announced by Justice Minister Yiorgos Savvides, who with Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, had taken to Twitter on Sunday to castigate the irresponsible behaviour which threatens to undo Cyprus’ progress in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
“At the request of Cyprus police Famagusta district court issued a decree temporarily suspending the operation of a recreation centre in Protaras which during the three day (weekend) operated without a licence and violated the quarantine law. The court order has been served,” Savvides said on Twitter.
Με αίτημα @Cyprus_Police το Επ. Δικαστήριο Αμ/στου εξέδωσε Διάταγμα προσωρινής αναστολής λειτουργίας κέντρου αναψυχής στον Πρωταρά, το οποίο, κατά τη διάρκεια του τριημέρου, λειτουργούσε χωρίς άδεια κ παραβιάζοντας τον περί Λοιμοκαθάρσεως νόμο. Το Διάταγμα επιδόθηκε σε ιδιοκτήτη
— George L. Savvides (@SavvidesGL) June 9, 2020
Earlier, police spokesman Christos Andreou had told CyBC that police had issued repeated warnings to the manager and had then prepared charges which they submitted to court today, together with an application the court suspend the operation of the establishment.
The business faces five charges of breaking the quarantine law and four for operating without a licence. The trial for all nine was set for June 16.
On the same day, the defendants can make their case regarding the court order temporarily suspending the operation of the venue.
He said that police do not have the authority to close down a venue but can only file charges and request the court suspend operations. The penalty currently stands at up to 2000 euro fine and/or six months in prison.
However, cabinet has approved tougher penalties which are currently being considered by the House of Representatives.
The police spokesman said that this was not the only catering establishment to have broken the quarantine decree. Over the long weekend, police had carried out more than 1900 checks and booked 32 premises most of them restaurants and cafeterias. Violations included having more people than permitted at their premises, staff not wearing masks and gloves and absence of signage.