Airports will reopen during part three of the lockout exit strategy in June, but in stages and under conditions, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Thursday.
He was speaking at a press conference on the government’s lockdown exit strategy which starts with partial easing of the measures on May 4.
President Nicos Anastasiades announced the first two stages during his televised address last night.
The minister said that during phase three (June 9 to July 13) the following will reopen:
Malls/ department stores
Airports/ airlines — gradually and under conditions
Ports, service for cruise ships
Catering indoors and outdoors
Beaches — provided distances are adhered to
Open air theatres and cinemas
Sports tournaments (no fans)
Summer programmes of private tertiary education-
Restart of economic activities will be on the basis of guidelines and protocols.
In phase four from July 14
– Theatres and indoor cinemas
– Festivals and concerts
– Children’s play areas indoors and outdoors.
The minister said that businesses that reopen on Monday must comply with specific hygiene and distancing rules to prevent a spike in coronavirus cases.
The construction sector and associated businesses resume work on May 4, as do retail shops with the exception of malls and department stores. Open air markets and travel agents are also part of the first stage of the easing of the lockdown.
He said that companies must implement the rule of eight metres for every employee, compulsory availability of antiseptic and cleaning of surfaces.
Employees who come into contact with the public in the private and public sector must wear masks.
For the general public the use of masks is recommended but not mandatory.
The minister said that people considered vulnerable for health reasons will be protected from exposure to the virus. They have been divided into two groups, those that can work but must not be in places with a lot of people and the second group who are high risk and will work from home.
For further protection, the ministry has decided that special groups of people will undergo the coronavirus test, paid for by the ministry.
These categories are:
Cancer patients before they undergo treatment
Pregnant women before giving birth
Elderly before being admitted to care homes
Abused individuals (adults and children) before being admitted to shelters
So far, more than 55,000 people have been tested, one of the highest per capita, in Europe.
So far, of the test among 20,000 employees in the private and public sector, a total of 17,601 tests have been carried out and 28 tested positive
Additional tests will be held as follows
1. 14,000 for employees in retail trade with direct contact with the public
2. 6,000 tests for constructions workers, (3,000 with a mobile unit at their place of work and 3000 with appointments)