Cyprus on Monday started a gradual lifting of measures aiming to contain the spread of coronavirus with authorities allowing the re-opening of shops but not relaxing restrictions on people movement.
Retail shops, excluding those in malls and department stores, have reopened along with hairdressers and barbershops.
Restrictions on movement remain in place with people only allowed to leave the home twice a day, but with the added option to visit non-essential stores.
A 9pm–5 am curfew is remaining in place with hospitality having to wait at least until phase two to reopen their doors. But two guests at a house are allowed without these being first degree relatives.
As for retail businesses, these re-opened on the condition they have their staff tested weekly with health experts expressing optimism Cyprus could see cases drop to double digits this week.
And the new state of play for school, this allows for the return of primary school children and final year students in secondary level education.
Furthermore, museums and other archaeological sites also opened their gates while religious services may be held with a maximum of up to 50 people present, in compliance with the health protocols.
As of next Monday, February 8, department stores and shopping malls also resume operation along with betting shops but without the facility of tables and other seating arrangements.
With the relaxation of restrictions, authorities have also launched an increased testing strategy focusing on both testing among the population as well as people returning to their jobs.
The Health Ministry allocated increased mobile testing units with increased testing hours boosting its daily testing capacity to 20,000.
Access to nature trails, forests and mountainous areas is banned, however.