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Society

Social Distancing, Masks Urged as Cyprus Eases Off COVID-19 Restrictions

ATHENS – A gradual reopening of businesses on Cyprus from a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus has come with a warning for people to observe social distancing and wear masks and gloves.

That came as four more cases were found among 1,970 samples tested for the virus, the Health Ministry’s daily briefing announced, two of them from 380 samples taken among 10,000 tests from hair salons, barbershops, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, and food and drink businesses.

The two cases involved members of staff of a food and beverage business, which had not resumed operation and the case was from a round of 20,000 tests targeting students and school teachers, said Kathimerini Cyprus.

The remaining case emerged after 171 samples taken from members of staff of microbiology labs at General Hospitals were checked for the virus. Cyprus on May 21 began a second phase of the relaxation of restriction measures.

“Particular care is needed so that we don’t let our enthusiasm get the better of us,” Dr. Marios Loizou said at the coronavirus briefing.

“The need to keep necessary distances and to avoid crowding is crucial,” he said, adding that “the picture that was presented… particularly at food and beverage places was not ideal,” he said.

He noted, “It makes no difference if distances are kept between tables, what makes a difference is people moving from table to table to chat without wearing a mask.”

“One carrier in such spaces is enough to trigger a chain of infection if rules aren’t followed,” he said, warning of the danger of clusters as Cyprus has had one of the best records in the world in holding down the number of cases and deaths.

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