News Local Health Minister announces new measures (updated)

Health Minister announces new measures (updated)

A full lockdown will be the last measure to be taken, Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou said on Friday, announcing a series of island-wide measures to run from November 30 to December 13.

Speaking at a press conference, Ioannou said commuters will now be able to travel to Limassol and Paphos, and that the measures would relax from December 14 to January 7.

He noted that schools would be operating as usual and that classes with physical presence would in Limassol and Paphos.

Ioannou acknowledged the fatigue and uncertainty caused by the pandemic and called on all citizens to display understanding and support the whole effort.

He also said Cyprus, unlike most European countries, has not proceeded with a second lockdown, despite the epidemiological data.

Ioannou pointed out that the health system was under a lot of strain due to the increased number of coronavirus cases in November.

The Minister furthermore noted that a vaccination schedule was being drafted, giving priority to the vulnerable groups.

Island-wide measures from November 30 to December 13

  • There will be a curfew from 2100 to 0500. Certified exceptions apply for work or medical reasons.
  • Only 10 persons at a time area allowed in houses, including minors.
  • Religious gatherings can have a maximum of 75 attendees, observing Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • Religious ceremonies, such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals, can have a maximum of 10 guests.
  • Dinners and receptions are forbidden at weddings and baptisms, except a reception at home with a maximum of 10 guests.
  • Visitors are prohibited at hospitals, clinics, and medical centres.
  • Restaurants, cafeterias and other catering establishments can remain open until 1900, after which delivery services can be offered. This excludes those in hotels, which can serve their guests until 2230, as well as airport catering services.
  • Public transport vehicles can carry up to 50% of their passenger capacity.
  • Gyms, swimming pools, and spas close, except for therapeutic or training purposes, with a maximum of four persons, including the practitioner or trainer. Exempt are those in hotels, which can serve their guests until 2230.
  • Betting shops, and casinos close.
  • Ports will operate for commercial purposes. Disembarking from cruise ships is prohibited.
  • All training and sports events for persons under the age of 18 are suspended. Training for championships is permitted with a maximum of four persons at a time, including the coach.
  • All team sports and social activities for persons under the age of 18 are prohibited. This includes football, dancing, theatre, swimming, martial arts etc.
  • Gatherings of over two persons in public places are prohibited, such as parks, squares, dams, picnic sites, beaches, walkways, marinas etc, are prohibited. This excludes minors whose parents are out for exercise.
  • Courts continue to operate according to Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • Mass gatherings in public or private places are prohibited, except those in amphitheaters and theatres operating at 50% of their seating capacity.
  • Private and public services can operate with one person per 8sqm, by appointment.
  • Popular markets can operate at 50% of their capacity and 1.5m distancing.
  • Playgrounds, luna parks, themed parks and camping sites are closed.
  • Demonstrations are prohibited.

Limassol and Paphos bans lifted

The Minister of Health said the ban on commuting to and from Limassol and Paphos, and between the two districts, is lifted. Workers no longer need a negative PCR test to commute.

Retail trade outlets reopen with one person per 10sqm.

Furthermore, beauty salons, tattoo studios, hairdressers, driving schools, archaeological sites, museums, historical sites, outdoor and indoor theatres, cinemas, galleries, and art exhibitions, reopen at 50% of their capacity.

Measures lax after December 14, if situation improves

Ioannou also announced that if the situation improves, there will be a loosening of the measures between December 14 and January 7, with special regulations over the holidays.

  • If the situation permits, the curfew will be shortened, from 2300 to 0500, excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, when the curfew will be from 0200 till 0600.
  • From December 23 till January 1, gatherings at houses can host up to 15 persons.
  • Restaurants etc will be able to remain open till 2230, with reservations of six persons maximum per table. The maximum number of customers indoors will be 75 and outside 150, with one person per 3sqm indoors and per 2sqm outside. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, establishments can remain open till 0030.
  • Betting shops and casinos will reopen.
  • Sports events can be held without the presence of spectators. Furthermore, sports premises, gyms, dance schools etc will reopen without spectators or the use of changing rooms.
  • Religious rituals and ceremonies can have a maximum of 75 persons present.
  • Food retail shops and pharmacies will serve persons over 65 years of age and persons with disabilities from the time they open until 0900.
  • (CNA)

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