COVID19: Turkish Cypriots ease lockdown after zero cases

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Turkish Cypriot authorities have started relaxing coronavirus lockdown measures in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus after recording zero cases for more than two weeks.

Public sector workers and employees at retail shops have returned to work.

With no cases recorded in the last 16 days, authorities in the north lifted some lockdown measures on Monday.

Authorities in the north had put the community on lockdown prohibiting movement between districts. This has been lifted but will remain applicable on Sundays.

However, an overnight curfew on all movement from 9 pm till 6 am the following day is to remain in effect until 15 May.

Restaurants food catering businesses closed down all together one and a half month ago, are to resume delivery and take away activities as of 15 May.

Retail stores will be allowed to resume activities from Monday and can remain open until 8 pm.

Businesses active in the tourism sector, entertainment establishments such as night clubs, barbers and hair salons are to remain closed until 15 May.

Schools and universities will also remain closed until then.

Turkish Cypriot health authorities announced on Sunday that a total of 507 tests were carried out during the last 24 hours, with none returning a positive result.

The last COVID-19 confirmed case was reported on April 17.

The first reported case in the north involved an elderly German woman on March 10, who was visiting with a 39-strong tourist group.

And 31 members of the holiday group were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Authorities in the north have reported 108 coronavirus cases and four deaths.

The four dead are two German tourists, a 67-year-old man and an 83-year old woman, a 74-year-old Turkish Cypriot and a 54-year Turkish national living permanently in the north.

Reportedly, a total of 14,009 people have been tested since the beginning of the outbreak.

According to the health authorities in the north, only one person is currently being treated for COVID-19, while 103 people have recovered.

The Republic of Cyprus has 872 cases and 15 deaths – taking total infections for the divided island to 980 and 19 coronavirus fatalities.