Cyprus announced a financial support package of € 700m, equivalent to 3% of the GDP which includes a series of measures, covering health, finance and labour issues valid from 16 March until the end of April, in an effort to relieve citizens from the repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking after a marathon cabinet meeting on Sunday, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, flanked by his ministers of Finance, Health and Labour announced a further 100 million euro for the public health sector, all private businesses to suspend operations until end of April, while those who wish to enter the Republic will have to present certificates from certified health institutions from the country of origin.
He also said those arriving in Cyprus will have to be placed in quarantine for 14 days in areas designated by the state.
Students studying overseas are asked to remain put and a 750 euro grant will be given to them for financial assistance.
Supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies and kiosks are the only businesses that can remain open until the end of April.
President Anastasiades said the measures announced aim at protecting the public and urged all to be responsible. With the government’s determination and social responsibility, we will get through this challenge, the President remarked. The decision comes into effect as of 16th March 1800 until 30th April.
Addressing a press conference after the extraordinary Cabinet meeting, President Anastasiades said the government decided to adopt an overall financial support package to help workers in SMEs and Cypriot businesses.
Noting that Cyprus is "experiencing a state of emergency" and reiterated what he said in my profession on Friday: "I have no doubt that with the determination of the State and the social sensitivity that we, as a people, have repeatedly shown at critical times to overcome this challenge too. "
President Anastasiades said that entry to the Republic of Cyprus of persons will be allowed only to those who can present medical certification that they have been tested for coronavirus from medically certified centres at the country of origin.
He said those who fulfill the preconditions, will have to be placed under quarantine for 14 days at areas designated by the Republic of Cyprus. No one, he stressed, will be allowed entry into the Republic if they do not fulfil and accept the government preconditions.
President Anastasiades said students who wish to remain in the country where they are studying will be given a grant of 750 euros.
He also said that decisions are valid for all those who use the crossing points between the free and occupied areas of Cyprus, except clearly humanitarian reasons and after approval by the Minister of Interior.
President Anastasiades said that at a first stage, 100 million euros will be granted to boost public health. He also announced the suspension of business operations by the private sector.
Evaluating the situation as it is and on the basis of the decisions taken, the government decided to adopt a comprehensive Emergency Financial Support Programme for employees, small and medium-sized enterprises and Cypriot companies in general.
The "Support Programme" is valued at € 700 million, equivalent to 3% of GDP.
“Times are critical. As I have said in my previous address, any measures are not enough by themselves to safeguard public health and its consequences, "the President of the Republic stressed and added: " It is necessary, and I want to emphasize once again, the feelings of responsibility and social solidarity that each and everyone of us should have to deal with the critical situation we are facing."
He also said he has been in communication with the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos.