Cyprus Shuts Down Some Businesses to Slow COVID-19

Αssociated Press

A main street is seen empty street in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Saturday, March 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA - With COVID-19 Coronavirus cases rising on the island, Cyprus' government ordered the temporary closing of businesses until April 13 at least, stepping up measures to deal with the growing pandemic.

The Ministry of Health said there were many exemptions, however, including businesses and workshops for medical equipment, optical companies, hearing aid companies, car and motorcycle dealers, tire dealers, bicycle sales and repair companies, launderettes, courier services and pet shops.

Telecommunications providers can stay open only for paying bills and repairs but not for sales and businesses that sell pesticides and fertilizers, material and equipment, car sales, funeral homes, nurseries and florists are also exempt said The Financial Mirror, and that online or delivery sales are also allowed.

Those businesses that are open according to the decree, must abide by social distancing requirements for only one person per eight square meters (86.11 square feet.)

Other businesses allowed to open include  all food and beverage retailers (supermarkets, grocery stores, butchers, fish markets, bakeries, pastry shops, fruit markets, cellars), pharmacies and foodservice providers ( restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars), which can offer delivery services or drive through, petrol stations, kiosks and mini markets. Clinical laboratories and car wash can also continue to operate.

Open markets, street sales and bazaars are banned as well as construction unless they are public interest projects which require permits issued by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works and churches and mosques must close along with other places of worship under the order.