Cyprus is imposing a partial curfew from 9pm on Tuesday, March 24 to April 13, with President Nicos Anastasiades saying that the measures were necessary “to fight the invisible enemy”, as the number of patients to have contracted the coronavirus reached 116 earlier in the day.
New regulations to be announced by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday will determine which businesses will remain open, with most retail stores expected to close, as well as factories.
Travel will have to be justified and limited to staff headed to work and back home, brief trips for grocery supplies and to pharmacies, and those caring for the elderly or ill people. All public areas, including parks, pathways, sports fields, promenades and marinas will be closed, and those breaking the law will be fined 150 euros. Carrying identity cards or passports will be mandatory.
Church services and prayers at mosques will be banned, and weddings, baptism and funerals will be limited to ten people.
With the weather improving, people took to returning to exercising along public pathways, which will now be forbidden and limited “to the vicinity of one’s home”, as will walking the dogs, with both cases not exceeding two people.
President Anastasiades acknowledged the “sacrifices” of the self employed and those in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while he added that once the situation improves, students at overseas universities will be repatriated home.
Finally, he said that clinical labs and private medical centres will be “joining the battle”, echoing the calls from the medical profession that had earlier called for a complete lockdown to prevent the COVID19 virus from spreading further, as the public defied earlier calls for isolation and social distancing and went to church in large numbers and gathered in public areas.