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Jumping Cyprus COVID-19 Cases Bring Jitters, Second Lockdown Talk

Αssociated Press

A man and woman wearing face masks walk at a boat harbor during Epiphany day celebrations at village of Zygi village in southern coast of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA -- With 573 more COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Cyprus Jan. 6, and more people needing hospitalization, the government is said to be looking at a second national lockdown that would exempt airports and ports.

There was no explanation why people would be allowed to come and go on planes or ferries, mass transit being hot spots with travelers moving around and hard to track and trace as sources of infections.

The Financial Mirror reported the second closing of non-essential businesses, after rising friction from beleaguered store owners finding it hard to cope already, could begin as soon as Jan. 10 and last through the end of the month.

The Cabinet will take its final decision Jan. 8, after President Nicos Anastasiades was briefed by his health advisors on the options available on how best to deal with the 10-month-long pandemic.

The COVID scientific advisory team met the Health Minister on Jan. 4, the site said, with the authorities leaning toward instructing people to stay at home once more although it wasn’t said if they would be allowed out for permissible missions.

In a lockdown in April, 2020

In the April lockdown, people could leave their homes once a day after receiving approval from the authorities through an SMS system on their mobile phones so they could get supplies and other reasons aimed at limiting circulation.

The four new deaths, counting 13 so far in January and 138 to date, included three men aged 76 to 79, all with underlying health issues, but also a 69-year-old man with no previous health issues, coming off a December that saw 76 deaths.

The new lockdown measures could see all retail shops closing down, as well as private sector businesses and public service enterprises such as hairdressers, barber shops, beauty and nail salons.

Only essential services will be allowed to operate, including food chain enterprises, supermarkets, bakeries, confectioners, fruit markets and kiosks, with strict health regulations in place, the report added.

The construction sector will be allowed to work, as well as private sector businesses that do not serve the public but students at all levels will be taught remotely, except for kindergartens that would be open.