News Local Cyprus tightens lockdown-UPDATE

Cyprus tightens lockdown-UPDATE

Permission to leave the house will be limited to once a day and gatherings at houses will be restricted only to its residents, under new tough restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus that come into effect at 6 am on Tuesday.

Effectively imposing a night curfew, the new rules stipulate that only people who have document A (those who work and have the document signed by the employer) will be allowed to leave the house between 9 pm and 6 am.

Everyone must secure permission by SMS and the signed forms (document B) can only be used by people aged over 65.

The tougher lockdown was announced by Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Monday afternoon. They were decided at a meeting of the ministerial committee on Covid-19 that was chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades this morning.

He said fines for violating he stay at home decree will double to €300 while supermarkets and other food and drink shops still allowed to operate will close on Sundays (except kiosks given that they don’t sell products of retail businesses).

He added that shops allowed to remain open are free to offer home delivery.

In addition, all businesses allowed to remain in operation should put up signage for customers informing them of safety measures, i.e. maintain a 2 metre distance from one another both inside and outside the shop when queueing.

The minister also announced new arrangements to allow students abroad who are considered vulnerable for health reasons and others who travelled abroad for medical reasons to return. He said that if necessary, the government will charter flights from London and Athens.

Students eligible to repatriate need to have obtained a special certificate to be issued following evaluation of their medical certificates by a three-member medical committee. Applications must be submitted by email to the Cyprus Medical Association on [email protected].

All new arrivals into the Republic will follow protocol, undergoing a test for Covid-19 and entering quarantine for 14 days in areas designated by the state.

The Ministry is also looking into electronic home supervision for people found positive to Coronavirus.

It will also use members of the ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ to monitor compliance to new measures.

Moreover, the operation of the following businesses is suspended: tourist and travel offices, aircraft services providers (except those servicing flights excepted in the Ministry of Transport’s decree).

The maximum number of people in taxis and private vehicles should not exceed three people.

Checks will also be stepped up at checkpoints.

The Minister later specified that the once per day limit to movements does not apply for transit to/from pharmacies, transits for blood donations, visits to a doctor, visits to people who cannot self-dependent and for transfer of soldiers in the National Guard.

The clampdown follows a spike in the number of cases and hundreds of violations of stay at home decrees.

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