COVID19: President says keep the faith, stay home at Easter

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades while urging people to stay home this Easter, said hopes are rising the battle against COVID-19 is being won, but the war is far from over.

In a televised Easter message, the president thanked the public for their efforts in staying home, noting that “unfortunately, there is still a long way to go.”

He said the cabinet has decided, on the strategy for a gradual easing of restrictive measures but not on the actual date.

The decision, he said, will take into account the advice of scientific advisers.

“Implementation will depend and is completely interwoven with the course of the reduction in the number of cases.”

“No mistakes are allowed, no complacency is allowed,” he stressed.

Anastasiades said he sympathised with the impact on the daily lives of people as a result of the lockdown but also cautioned that this was no room for complacency.

He said he was grateful for the sacrifices everyone is making, especially the most important time of the year on the Greek Orthodox religious calendar.

Acknowledging that measures have “deprived people of their freedom of movement and choice, of contact with loved ones, right to live and rejoice as we used to, on Easter”.

The president urged the public to stay focused on the task ahead of containing the spread of the coronavirus, despite the understandable urge to go to church and hold family gatherings.

“This is why I am once again appealing to all: Strictly follow the protective measures; avoid unnecessary travel; do not succumb to the temptation to visit your villages or holiday homes.”

“Today, our faith is not in danger; the health of the faithful is”.

Places of worship are out of bounds this Easter with church services taking place in front of empty congregations.