GR US

Cyprus Cautiously Eases Back COVID-19 Lockdown, Students Return

Αssociated Press

People walk at the beach as enjoy the sun and the sea in Larnaca costal city in southeast Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Hoping tourists will think the country safe and return to boost the economy, Cyprus has been gradually lifting another COVID-19 lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the Coronavirus.

More students returned to schools March 1 as health officials monitored epidemiological data to see if cases will rise, a year after the pandemic hit and brought the economy down hard.

Students could return to classes if they had parental consent to undergo rapid tests weekly, school officials saying it wouldn't be mandatory but those who won't agree to testing would only be allowed to take classes remotely.

Still, some schools remained closed if they had too many cases, said Kathimerini Cyprus, including some classes in other schools where officials determined there was a high infection rate following rapid test results.

Besides re-opening of high schools and vocational institutes, the measures included the resumption of tutorial services and afternoon classes, including art classes and galleries along with gyms, dance schools, sports facilities and nature trails.

Visits to nursing home patients will also be allowed while street vendors and open air flea markets with non-food items will also be allowed to operate.