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Politics

Anastasiades Reviews Plan for Further Lockdown Lift on Cyprus

NICOSIA – After meeting his epidemiological team providing medical and scientific advice on dealing with the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades expected to further ease a lockdown aimed at preventing its spread.

Cyprus has one of the best records in holding down the number of cases and fatalities and began gradually loosening restrictions on movement on May 4 but is keeping track of cases for any signs of a resurgence.

Phase II will see the opening hospitality establishments such as outdoor cafes and restaurants, said The Financial Mirror, and epidemiologists will give Anastasiades a final recommendation about whether schools can reopen May 21.

Under the schedule already announced, the second stage – May 21 to June 8 – will see all schools get back to business, though with social distancing requirements and fewer students, who will be split into two groups going to school on a rotation system.

Parents, students and teachers aren't happy with that idea, which has led Anastasiades to hold off for now, after one of the advisory team members, Dr. Leontios Kostrikis said he was surprised to see May 21 be a target date.

“We need to take slow, steady and considered steps. We must not make any rash move because if something goes wrong, it won’t be easy to fix,” Kostrikis said although other members said it's safe for the students to return. 

“We’ve always said that all stages of relaxing measures would be subject to the epidemiological data at hand and the advice of the epidemiological advisory team,” said Anastasiades, according to the site.

The government said there will be COVID-19 tests for 13,000 students and 7,000 teachers, with high school seniors already returning to prepare for exams and university entrance tests.

Masks, disinfectants and thermometers will be available said authorities, as part of strict hygiene measures in the schools.

Thee next phase will also see, barbershops, hair and beauty salons open for business with restrictions lifted on outdoor movement and the end of a night-time survey and gatherings of up to 10 police allowed..

As of 1 June, libraries, museums, archaeological sites and betting shops are to open as will ports, although passengers won't be allowed to disembark while hotels and airports will remain shut for now, the report added.

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