NICOSIA — Cyprus’ airport is open again, tourists from some countries are being welcomed and life is slowly trying to return to normal with the gradual lifting of a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19: but it’s still there.
A single case was reported on June 21, the first after five days in which none were found across the island, giving hope the dreaded Coronavirus was finally on its way out after several months of fear and worry.
The Health Ministry said the infection was traced among tests on people returning to work after lockdown measures eased, found among 55 tests as part of a campaign to check 10,000 workers who returned to their jobs, said The Financial Mirror.
Antena TV reported it was a hotel worker in Paphos, bringing the total number of cases to 986 and 19 deaths, among the best records in the world in dealing with the virus that hit earlier this year.
Ironically, the lack of cases had government officials worried that people would become complacent and not follow health measures still in place to prevent a recurrence, including social distancing and wearing of masks in some places.
Reports were that businesses were also not fully enforcing the restrictions which are supposed to limit the number of shoppers and public gatherings, with the site reporting there are indications measures are being ignored or defied.
Police said a bar owner in Larnaca was fined 4,000 euros ($4485) for breaking health regulations and allowing 355 patrons, instead of the state-imposed cap of 150. That came a day after 13 clubs and pubs in Paphos were fined.
A club in the holiday resort of Protaras that opened for business on the first day after lockdown measures were lifted received only a small fine, the site saying it was reportedly because of political connections and police not wanting tough enforcement.