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As COVID-19 Jumps Again, Cyprus Renews Night Curfew, Measures

NICOSIA — In a setback as COVID-19 has resurged on the island after being held down, Cyprus has re-instituted a night curfew requiring bars, restaurants, shopping malls and cafes to close by 10:30 p.m. to try to slow the Coronavirus' spread.

Health authorities were said to be worried that the rising number of cases could overwhelm the ability of hospitals to deal with them, especially serious cases requiring Intensive Care Units (ICU's) and ventilators.

The only curfew exceptions will be for anyone who's on the job and for emergency medical reasons while there's also a 10-person maximum for gatherings at home or any public space, except bars and restaurants with no explanation why.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou also announced a ban on all children's sports and social activities, and the closure of indoor and outdoor playgrounds as well as gyms.

President Nicos Anastasiades warned in a televised address that the spread of the coronavirus is on the verge of getting out of hand after it had been relatively well dealt with when the pandemic appeared in March.

Cases had fallen to the low single digits daily and sometimes none before an early lockdown began to be eased in a bid to keep the economy going and a second wave appeared earlier in October. 

There were 166 new cases reported on Nov. 4, bringing the total number of infections to 5,100. There have been 26 deaths.

“The daily increase in cases risks spiralling out of control, which other than posing a threat to life threatens the healthcare system, employment and our welfare in general,” Anastasiades said in a statement.

There had been protests, sometimes turning violent, over restrictions and with worries that a shutdown or restrictions that are too tight will hurt the economy and businesses as well as threaten jobs.

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