A Health Ministry directive for a third lockdown in more than a year of pandemic conditions was published in the Official Government Gazette late yesterday, officially making public knowledge and setting down all final decisions reached by the cabinet yesterday (Friday).
Health Minister Constandinos Ioannou said the lockdown was necessary to counter the rapid spread of the virus during the past few weeks, which saw daily cases skyrocket to a record 941, with 927 on Thursday and almost 900 yesterday.
The lockdown starts Monday at five in the morning and will run through to midnight on Sunday May 9.
Movement is prohibited between nine in the evening and five in the morning, exempting people who are travelling to and from work with the appropriate signed documentation from their employer or visiting a hospital, clinic, other medical centre, pharmacy or vet on a medical emergency.
People are not allowed to gather for social occasions whether in private or public spaces, in or out, such as squares, dams, designated picnic areas and marinas.
Restrictions will only be partly lifted for Easter Sunday, with a maximum of 10 people allowed in the same house, including children and those living in the residence.
Only one SMS is allowed for movement each day, sent to 8998. Vaccinations do not require an SMS.
Church services will be conducted without the faithful inside churches, with people allowed to stand on the church courtyard only for the evening Resurrection Service on Holy Saturday.
Archbishop Chrysostomos made clear that the church will not abide by this rule on Holy week and called on authorities to reverse the decision when it comes to liturgies.