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Cyprus Will Ease COVID-19 Health Measures for The Holidays

December 23, 2020

NICOSIA — While Greece is keeping a relatively tight lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 for the Christmas-New Year’s-Epiphany Day holidays, Cyprus is going to ease up on some of its tough protocols – while warning people to avoid the United Kingdom.

The relaxation will be only for Christmas and New Year’s for two days, said Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou and that people can stay out and have family meetings of up to 10 people until 11 p.m. on Dec. 24 and on Dec. 31 — New Year's eve – until 1 a.m. next day.

While that will allow revelry and celebration of the season it will also create mass public gatherings of the type that spread the Coronavirus fast with no explanation why they won’t be limited during the pandemic.

He also saidafter a request by the leaders of the Church, people can attend church services on Christmas Day and on Jan. 6, the Epiphany Day, provided that no more than 75 people are inside a church and there must be one person every three square meters (32.29 square feet) of space, reported the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Ioannou added that the current epidemiological data were not satisfactory and did not justify more relaxation of current restrictions but then didn’t explain why they were being eased in the face of evidence it could be dangerous.

Strict restrictions, which include a ban on movement after 9 p.m. and the closure of shopping malls, restaurants and beverage premises, have been in force since the beginning of December.

Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry advised against traveling to the UK where a mutated strain of the Coronavirus has raised the alarm level but won’t prohibit people from going or coming back despite the risk.

The health ministry said people arriving from Britain will be taken to quarantine hotels for a seven-day period, with the cost covered by the state. People under the age of 18 have the option to either quarantine at home or at the designated hotels.

According to state-run Cyprus News Agency, about 300 people who arrived on three planes from British airports after 6 p.m. on Dec. 21 were quarantined in hotels paid for by the state.

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