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Additional measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic come into effect

11/12/2020 09:30

Additional measures have come into effect in Cyprus as of Friday 06:00 local time (04:00 GMT) with a view to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They will remain in place until midnight December 31st.

The Council of Ministers decided on Wednesday the extension of the validity of the measures already in place and their reinforcement with additional measures. Among others, the operation of malls and catering establishments is suspended, while church services and other forms of religious worship in religious sites shall be performed without attendees.

More specifically, as of 06:00 on Friday the operation of malls is suspended. Superstores, department stores and large stores over 500 sq.m. (excluding food retail, i.e. supermarkets) will operate in compliance with the measure of 1 person per 10 sq.m. and with a ceiling on the number of customers.

Moreover, the operation of catering establishments is also suspended. This measure concerns restaurants, taverns, cafés, pubs, snack bars and bars, cafeterias and catering establishments within canteens and / or sports clubs, cultural clubs, associations, etc., with the exception of their delivery and take away services. After 9 p.m. only home delivery is permitted.Catering establishments within hotels and tourist accommodation facilities may operate until 9 p.m. serving only the guests who are staying overnight in those premises. Catering establishments within the Larnaka and Pafos Airports are allowed to operate.

Church services and other forms of religious worship in religious sites shall be performed without the presence of congregants. Religious ceremonies (weddings, christenings, funerals) are permitted with a maximum of 10 persons attending.

Moreover as of next Monday, 14 December, lessons/courses in public and private Lyceums, Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions will be taught online. Kindergartens, Primary Schools and Gymnasiums continue to operate normally. At the same time, in addition to the suspension of sports and social activities for persons under 18 years of age, which is still in force, the operation of tutoring institutes is suspended.

Health Minister, Constantinos Ioannou, has said that  "based on our planning" these measures "will remain in place until midnight on 31 December. Until then, the situation will be re-evaluated in order to review the measures, provided that the epidemiological picture allows it."