News Local Protaras venue at centre of Kataklysmos row to reopen

Protaras venue at centre of Kataklysmos row to reopen

 

Nava, the Protaras venue booked by police for breaking decrees to contain the spread of coronavirus over four consecutive days over the Kataklysmos weekend, can reopen after it acquired all the permits.

Police had a week ago obtained a temporary injunction from Famagusta district court suspending the operation of Nava for a week, pending a hearing.

The injunction was obtained on the grounds that the venue did not have an operating licence and not under the quarantine law which, as it stands, does not give police the power to close down catering establishments caught breaking the decree.

Today, the venue’s management presented the relevant operating licence that was issued by the deputy ministry of tourism on June 15 to the court and the judge ruled there was no reason to extend the temporary injunction.

The manager and owner also face five charges for breaking the quarantine law and four for operating without a permit. They will enter their plea on June 24, the court decided today.

Justice Minister Yiorgos Savvides and Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou had both taken to Twitter over the long weekend to castigate the irresponsible behaviour  at the venue where guests were shown on social media dancing and ignoring social distancing rules,  despite a requirement that all guests at catering establishments remain seated at the table.

Police do not have the authority to close down a venue but can only file charges and request the court suspend operations. The penalty currently stands at up to 2000 euro fine and/or six months in prison.

However, a revised bill introducing tougher penalties and giving police the authority to temporarily suspend the operations of a venue is currently before the House Legal Affairs Committee with the Justice Minister indicating that there was consensus for its approval.

Bill to authorise police to close down businesses that flout decree

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