COVID19: Cyprus bans free movement for 3 weeks

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Free movement of people will be restricted in Cyprus from March 24 until April 13 in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, President Nicos Anastasiades announced on Monday.

In a televised address, the President said the Minister of Health will issue a decree limiting unnecessary movement from 6.00 pm on Tuesday until the 13th of April.

Exceptions will apply for those going to work, the transport of goods for businesses allowed to operate, visiting the doctor or the pharmacy and for banking purposes that can not be done online.

People who are moving around to help others who are not able to take care of themselves or confined at home will also be exempt from restrictions.

Close relatives attending wedding, funerals or baptisms will not be restricted either, providing they don’t exceed a group of 10 people.

People who want to go out for physical activities or walk their pets will be allowed to do so in their neighbourhood, in groups of no more than two people.

All people moving around should carry their ID or passport as well as additional certificates that will be announced later.

Parks, playgrounds, open areas for sports, picnic areas will be closed to the public until April 13.

People will not be allowed to attend places of religious worship, such as churches, mosques and other places of prayer.

“I want to make clear that the state will be relentless on those who violate the decrees issued by the state,” Anastasiades said.

He also said that apart from other legal consequences, offenders will be charged with a fine of 150 euros.

The measures come after Cypriots crowded public spaces, playgrounds and seafront areas during the weekend, despite the government urging them to stay home.

“Such Behaviour puts the entire population at risk of death,” said Anastasiades.

“Government advisers are sounding the alarm that if the measures are not fully complied with and if we do not react immediately with further restrictions, the consequences will be incalculable,” he added

“An out-of-control outbreak will lead to the collapse of the health system, which, however well-structured, it will not be able to meet the needs that will arise.”

He said Cyprus was fighting an “invisible enemy”.

“We are at war…a war that is won by staying in our shelters.”

“Please stay at home, stay in your shelter, we will make it,” the President ended his national address.