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Two Cypriot Churches Cited for Breaking COVID-19 Restrictions

Αssociated Press

A woman wears a face mask as she leaves the Panayia Faneromeni Christian Orthodox church in central Nicosia, Cyprus, Saturday. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA - Cypriot police conducted more than 3000 checks in one day of businesses and other spots to insure compliance with measures aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus and issued 15 citations for violations, including two Churches that were open.

One death was reported among 115 cases, including 31 on the occupied northern third as the legitimate government which belongs to the European Union moved to set up quarantine facilities and issued tougher restrictions.

Police said in one 24-hour period from March 21-22 they swept through areas and neighborhoods and issued citations for places staying open, including kiosks in the capital Nicosia and Morphou, two coffee shops and a shooting range in Larnaca, a bar in Limassol and two places of worship  one each in Paphos and in the Morphou area. Six were booked at as open market in Paphos as was a street vendor, also in Paphos, said in-Cyprus.

Police were checking for compliance with a measure prohibiting gatherings of more than 75 people, regulating the operation of essential businesses,and checking shops and other premises such as catering establishments required to shut down for now.

Among the checks were nightclubs, casinos, betting shops and clubs, coffee shops and cafeterias, restaurants and fast food establishments, bakeries and supermarkets, pharmacies, malls and department stores, barbers, hair dressers and beauty parlours.

They also checked gyms, sport facilities, sport and cultural clubs, cinemas, theatres, museums, archaeological sites, hotels and places of worship and visited the hotels being used as quarantine facilities.

Since March 11, they have carried out more than 11,000 checks and reported 32 violations, the site said. Violations can be punished with fines and jail time but there weren't any reports it had been done or of any prosecutions yet.