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COVID19: Cypriots allowed more freedom as curfew stays

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As Cyprus eases lockdown restrictions introduced to stem the spread of coronavirus 50 days ago, citizens are now able to leave their homes three times a day instead of once.

As businesses and retail stores reopened Monday, people are returning to some sort of normality, but it will still need the approval of the authorities to leave home to go shopping or go out for a walk.

People wanting to go to shopping to renew their wardrobes will have sent a message to the government SMS line 8998, with indication 2.

This number had been used for permission to shop for basic necessities but will now cover visits to any retail store.

Although President Nicos Anastasiades said people wanting to go for a stroll in their neighbourhood or a run would not have to send in an SMS, guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health suggest otherwise.

Asked to clarify, the Health Ministry told the Financial Mirror that people wanting to leave their homes for a walk or exercise must send an SMS with the indication 6.
Number 6 covers people wanting to walk, cycle, play non-team sports such as tennis or golf, swim in the sea, as long as no more than two people take part in the activity.

Swimming in the sea is allowed, regardless of which district they live in.

“A citizen living in Nicosia can go to the beach in Larnaca but will have to return home within a reasonable time,” said the Ministry. A reasonable time is considered up to three hours.

People wanting to take their pets for a walk will also have to ask for the same permission.

Relatives can attend funerals, weddings, baptisms, as long as the number does not exceed 10 people.

As of Monday, the faithful can attend places of worship with the participation of a maximum of 10 people and for individual prayer.

The daily curfew will still be enforced but from Monday it will begin one hour later at 10 pm till 6 am the following day.

The Health Ministry told the Financial Mirror that although footpaths are now open, parks and playgrounds remain strictly off-limits as are visits to people’s homes.