x

Society

Cyprus Unveils Road Map to Easing Coronavirus Restrictions

NICOSIA — Cyprus' president unveiled a road-map Wednesday for gradually lifting a strict, stay-at-home order over the next month that has until now helped to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

But Nicos Anastasiades said that the "danger hasn't passed," as health experts note that the virus won't completely go away any time soon. He warned that "deviations from or acts of ill-discipline" to authorities' guidelines would lead to a return to lockdown conditions "that nobody wishes."

Infection rate data coupled with recommendations from a scientific advisory committee will determine if the road map will remain on track, Anastasiades said. 

Restrictions on movement will start to be rolled back on May 4, with the maximum number of allows excursions outside the home increased from once per day to three. A nighttime curfew will remain in place until restrictions are completely lifted on May 21, when restaurants, hair and beauty salons will also reopen.

Also on May 4, government workers are to head back to offices, construction to restart and retail shops — with the exception of malls or department stores — to open their doors. High schools are due to reopen a week after that only for graduating students.

Churches will also be allowed to resume services on May 4, but congregations will be limited to 10 people until June 1, when they can operate normally in line with stipulated hygiene rules.

Individual athletes can restart training in open-air facilities on May 4, while athletes in team sports can start practicing together two weeks later, although locker rooms will remain off-limits.

June 1 will see public beaches open to bathers, while museums, libraries and archaeological sites will start accepting visitors. Ports will also then be allowed to start operating although no cruise ship passengers will be allowed to disembark. 

The Cypriot president said the government's cautious approach — despite appeals from the business community to quickly reboot the economy — is owed to the fact that other countries' hasty steps to get back to business have resulted in fresh spikes in COVID-19 infections. 

Anastasiades made no mention of when airports will become fully operational in the tourism-reliant country. A ban on all flights remains in effect until May 17.

Tourism directly accounts for 13% of the east Mediterranean island nation's gross domestic product. Government officials say the country is estimated to lose at least 1.5 billion euros ($1.63 billion) or about 60% of its tourism-generated revenue this year. 

Cyprus, with a population of around 880,000, to date counts 843 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 deaths.

RELATED

NICOSIA - Cyprus became one of the first countries to adopt the EU whistleblowing directive – a month after the deadline – the measure protecting them from retaliation and not required to first report to police or the Attorney-General The Parliament approved the required directive by a vote of 49-1, although whistleblower groups said the bloc didn't go far enough to ensure that people reporting wrongdoing don't face punitive measures, including being fired.

Top Stories

Culture

If you are reading this today, you can thank your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and previous ancestors for your existence.

Politics

A former senator, minister, cabinet secretary, chief of staff to Australian former PM John Howard for more than a decade, Arthur Synodinos is Australia’s ambassador to the United States since 2020.

General News

Anton "Tony" Mandros, 87, of Portsmouth, RI, passed to his eternal reward on January 19.

Video

In Mourning Yet Again, NYC Prepares to Honor Fallen Officer

NEW YORK — A city reeling from a recent spate of violence prepared to lay to rest a rookie police officer being hailed as an inspiration to his immigrant community, as investigators sought to make sense of a domestic dispute that left another officer "fighting for his life.

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.