News Local Health Minister announces stricter measures for COVID-19 (update)

Health Minister announces stricter measures for COVID-19 (update)

The Health Ministry published a detailed list of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, entering into force next Friday, December 11. The measures were announced earlier on Wednesday by the Minister of Health, Constantinos Ioannou, during a press conference in Nicosia. They will be enforced island-wide until December 31 and a relevant decree will be issued on Wednesday.

A curfew will be enforced between 9.00pm and 05.00am. Exceptions apply in the case of employees going to work, with the presentation of a certificate, as well as for people going to a medical center, hospital, pharmacy or vet for emergency reasons. For hunters who have a license with them, the curfew ends on permitted hunting days at 3.00am.

Up to two people, excluding minors, are allowed to gather in public areas, such as parks, squares, picnic areas, beaches, pedestrian streets and marinas. House gatherings of up to 10 people, including minors, are permitted.

Religious functions and services will be conducted without the presence of the faithful.

Lunch or dinner parties and other events for weddings and christenings are not permitted, beyond the 10-person in-house limit.

Weddings, christenings and funerals will be allowed to take place in the presence of 10 people maximum.

Distance education will apply for Lyceums and Higher Education Institutions from Monday, December 14, onwards. Kindergartens, Primary Schools and Gymnasiums will continue to operate as usual. Regulations apply both for public and private institutions.

Visiting patients at hospitals, clinics and medical centers is not permitted.

All restaurants, tavernas, cafes, pubs, breweries, snack bars and bars, as well as cafes and restaurants operating inside malls, canteens and sports clubs will suspend their operation, except for delivery and take away services. After 9.00pm only delivery services are permitted.

Restaurants inside hotels and tourist accommodations may operate until 9.00pm only for customers staying there, with a maximum capacity of 40 people indoors and 80 outdoors.

Restaurants in Paphos and Larnaca airports will continue to operate.

Outdoor and indoor theaters, amphitheaters, and cinemas will suspend their operation.

Farmers markets will operate with a maximum occupancy of 50%. A ban on mass events, gatherings, protests, parades, concerts, outdoor festivals, Christmas bazaars and festivals in public or private areas remains in place.

The maximum occupancy in public transport is regulated by the Minister of Transport.

Malls will suspend their operations, while retail shops, department stores as well as larger stores over 500 sq.m. will continue to be open, while observing measures in place.

The operation of gyms, dance schools and schools for other sports activities is suspended, although personal training is allowed.

Betting agencies will continue to operate while observing measures in place. Casinos will suspend their operation.

Swimming pools will close as well, except for people with disabilities who use them to exercise or training, with a maximum occupancy of up to 4 people, including the trainer.

Gyms, swimming pools and spas, as well as restaurants operating inside hotels may only be used by guests staying there.

Larnaca and Limassol ports will continue to operate for commercial transactions and activities only, while cruise ships may not disembark passengers.

In sports, training and other events will be suspended for those bellow the age of 18 years.

The use of indoor and outdoor sports facilities will be suspended. Exceptions apply in the case of facilities being used by groups of up to 4 people, including the trainer, without spectators. National teams and teams competing in first, second and third division championships may also train there, while adhering to relevant protocols. High performance athletes, enrolled with the Cyprus Sports Organization, may also continue training there.

Tutoring in groups, as well as sports and other social activities for children bellow the age of 18 are not allowed. Distance learning, as well as private tutoring of up to two people, including the instructor, are permitted.

Courthouses also continue their operations. Retail stores selling food will exclusively serve people who are 65 or older, from their opening time until 9.00am.

Nightclubs, discos and dance venues will remain closed.

The same applies for playgrounds, amusement and theme parks.

Conferences, trade fairs and art exhibitions are suspended.

People are not allowed to visit those staying in nursing homes, centers for the chronically ill, structures hosting vulnerable groups, shelters for the homeless, day care centers, or child protection facilities.

This does not apply to persons with disabilities, who are allowed to receive up to two visits per week, or more if deemed necessary.

Camping sites will also suspend their operation.

A ban to enter or exit reception centers for asylum seekers continues to apply, with the exception of newcomers, staff or for humanitarian and medical purposes, after securing the permission of the Minister of the Interior.

(CNA)

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