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Society

Unable to Contain COVID-19, Cyprus Closes Churches, Malls, Restaurants

December 9, 2020

NICOSIA — Restaurants and malls on Cyprus will lose the critical Christmas and holiday period for customers and sales, ordered to close as of Dec. 11 until the end of the year in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, as will churches.

"There is no such thing as good or nice restrictions, these are necessary, and mainly unpleasant, but we have to safeguard life. Our health comes first," Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told a news conference, said Reuters.

He warned the restrictions could get even tighter as the pandemic has gone into its tenth month and remains persistent and aggressive, the Coronavirus showing no signs of relenting despite on-again, off-again lockdowns.

High schools will also close and students take classes online although primary schools and nurseries will remain open with no explanation why they would be safe but secondary schools not.

Cyprus, with a population of about 900,000, apart from the northern third occupied by Turkey since an unlawful 1974 invasion, has reported 13,286 cases since the first showed early in in March.

Some 68 people have died and the number of cases has daily highs for about the past seven weeks, and the rate of increase has accelerated in recent days, leading to the renewal of a night-time curfew in November, still in force for now.

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