NICOSIA — Soaring infections have led Cyprus’ government to impose a second lockdown Jan. 10 in a bid to quell the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing another blow to battered businesses struggling the past 10 months.
Retail businesses, including hairdressers, beauty parlours and large department stores will shut until Jan. 31, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told a news conference, said Reuters.
People will be allowed to leave home only twice a day for permissible missions such as buying groceries or medicines and taking exercise, while a current curfew banning movement from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. remains, closing off night life still.
Schools will operate remotely through distance teaching as they reopen after the holidays but kindergartens will stay shut, he said, the move coming as the country has recorded 26,208 cases of COVID-19 since the first case in early March 2020.
There have been 140 deaths but especially worrying has been a surge that’s frequently exceeded 300 cases a day, and a variant of the Coronavirus carried into the country by travelers from the United Kingdom between Dec. 6-20.
Vaccinations began Dec. 27, beginning with the elderly, bringing some hope the pandemic will begin to curtail but not effective yet until enough people are protected from the resistant virus still raging on.