x

Society

Cyprus Makes Mask-Wearing Compulsory in Large indoor Spaces

NICOSIA — Cyprus on Friday made mask-wearing compulsory in all indoor areas where people gather in large numbers, like malls and supermarkets, and is significantly ramping up random coronavirus testing at its two main airports. An upsurge of new confirmed cases in the last week has alarmed authorities.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that a rollback of COVID-19 restrictions combined with a low infection rate led to "excessive complacency" by some people, whom he blamed for "choosing to recklessly violate health protocols" and "put public health at risk."

He said the latest spike is "exceedingly worrying" because people infected with the virus who don't show any symptoms are spreading the disease in a way that is making containment efforts difficult.

Ioannou said it's a "utopia" to believe COVID-19 can be completely eradicated and that the best outcome is to keep infections at a low, controllable level until a vaccine is developed.

Starting midnight Friday, anyone not wearing a mask in busy places like hospitals, banks and churches faces a fine of 300 euros ($366). Random testing at airports will increase from 600 to 1,000 a day, with emphasis on Cypriots returning from vacation. 

The maximum number of passengers on public transport is again being cut to half of the vehicle's capacity and police will enact a "zero tolerance" policy on businesses that don't conform to hygiene and social distancing rules.

Ioannou announced additional measures affecting the coastal town of Limassol, where most of the new infections have been registered. The measures, to last for three weeks, include the return of a 10-person limit at all social functions and a 75-person limit for indoor seating at bars and restaurants. That limit is double for outdoor seating.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades warned in a written statement that flouting these new restrictions would lead to even stricter measures that would have grave economic repercussions.

Divided Cyprus, with a population of around 870,000 people in the southern, internationally recognized part has registered 1,084 COVID-19 infections and 26 deaths.

RELATED

NICOSIA - Cyprus is back with tourists during the waning COVID-19 pandemic, so much so now that low-cost airline Wizz Air is adding two more aircraft to its base in Larnaca and Ryanair will add five routes from Paphos in the summer of 2023 and double its fleet to four planes.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Search Effort Intensifies after Indonesia Quake Killed 271

CIANJUR, Indonesia — More rescuers and volunteers were deployed Wednesday in devastated areas on Indonesia's main island of Java to search for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed at least 271 people.

After a late goal from Asteras Tripolis New York, the Hellenic-American soccer team ended its fall regular season in a 2-2 draw against historic Cosma Damiano at College Point Field on last Sunday evening.

AL KHOR, Qatar. The United States frustrated England in a 0-0 draw on Friday for its second consecutive tie in the World Cup.

Here's a collection curated by The Associated Press' entertainment journalists of what's arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week.

ATHENS - Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis attended a ceremony held at the Elefsina Shipyard to welcome the arrival on Friday of the first merchant ship - the supramax freighter "Star Cleo" built in 2013 - to dock there for repairs in almost five years.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.