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Society

Cypriot Police Seek to Close Open-Air Nightclub

NICOSIA — Cypriot officials are warning against undue complacency in enforcing social distancing rules after video emerged of an open-air nightclub at a popular seaside resort jam-packed with patrons.

Cyprus police spokesman Christos Andreou told The Associated Press on Monday that the nightclub’s owner faces a charge of flouting maximum capacity limits set out under a Health Ministry order.

Andreou said police are taking the owner to court because he was repeatedly warned over the weekend not to exceed the allowable capacity. Andreou said police will also seek a court order to temporarily shut down the Ayia Napa establishment.

Justice Minister George Savvides posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday that the nightclub acted “inconceivably irresponsibly” for the sake of profit.

Earlier, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou also tweeted that such behavior could make a return to lockdown measures “inevitable.”

Cyprus is eager to get its key tourism sector back on track after a two-month lockdown, but officials say they won’t allow anyone to cut corners on what they need to do to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Commercial flights from a limited number of countries resume on Tuesday. Cyprus has lifted almost all restrictions, but a ban on indoor bar and nightclub openings remains in force.

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