Primary and lower secondary schools have reopened, catering establishments are welcoming guests, but only outdoors, and hairdressers, barbers and beauticians are back at work as Cyprus transitioned into phase of its lockdown exit roadmap.
Thursday also marks the end to restrictions on movement. The 8998 text service and night curfew have been scrapped, but not before police booked 29 people after carrying out 1941 checks on pedestrians and drivers overnight.
Phase two also allows indoor gatherings of up to 10 people. Free movement is also permitted in parks (except playgrounds) squares, marinas, provided groups are no more than 10 people.
The next landmark is Saturday when beaches open and attending church services and other forms of religious worship in churches, mosques and other religious premises will be permitted.
Still pending is a decision — expected to be announced tomorrow — on when airports and hotels will open and what rules will apply. Both were initially cited as part of phase three that starts on June 9, but the government has clarified that the resumption of flights will be gradual and under conditions.
The easing of the lockdown has come with new hygiene rules and protocols that must be adhered to by businesses and their clients.
With the end of the restriction on movement, police are now expected to shift from checking whether people had SMS permission to be out and about to checking on whether the various premises are adhering to distancing and other rules.
Efforts will be bolstered by tougher penalties which are being proposed by the Justice Ministry and will be sent to the House of Representatives for approval.
Thousands of pupils are back in school today, only attendance is by rotation with half of primary and lower secondary school pupils due in today and the other half tomorrow as part of distancing and other hygiene protocols.
Nursery school and upper secondary schools will not reopen, with the exception of final year pupils who are preparing for their end of year exams.