Cyprus will go ahead next week in opening its airports, shopping malls and gyms but concerts and wedding receptions will have to wait until September.
The Cabinet decided on Wednesday to launch the third stage out of COVID-19 lockdown on June 9 but this phase will last until June 24, and not July 14 as originally planned, said Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou.
Ioannou said that the Cabinet decision to ease restrictions further took into account the country’s very good epidemiological situation and suggestions submitted by the experts.
According to Wednesday’s decisions, swimming pools will open to the public ahead of schedule on June 5.
Starting on June 9, Cyprus is reopening malls, airports, port facilities for cruise ships, the interior areas of restaurants and hotels, open-air cinemas and theatres.
Sporting events can also resume without the presence of spectators.
Also from June 9, kindergartens and nurseries, along with children’s clubs, outdoor playgrounds, all-day summer schools are also opening their doors.
On June 13, casinos are permitted to reopen, along with dance schools, boxing/ kickboxing schools, gyms, theme parks, waterparks and amusement parks.
The Minister said that no decisions were taken on the fourth phase, apart from a decision to open theatres and indoor cinemas at the beginning of August.
Festivals, concerts, wedding receptions and christenings, as well as graduation ceremonies, will be postponed until September 1, Ioannou said.
Ioannou also said that gatherings of over 10 people continue to be prohibited, at least until June 24.
Asked about the resumption of flights, Ioannou said that ministers evaluated the decision to permit flights from two groups of countries, without however changing the existing arrangement.
Under its exit lockdown road map, Cyprus will open its airports from June 9 to a select band of 13 countries that are considered low risk.
They include Israel, Greece, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland and Malta but the island’s two biggest markets Britain and Russia are not on the approved list.
Other EU countries such as Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain and Italy are also not on the list.
All those arriving between June 9 -19 will need to provide a health certificate proving they are Covid-19 negative.
From June 20, there will be no need to provide a health certificate from the 13 countries, but another six countries will be added to the list including Switzerland, Romania and Poland.
Cyprus says it will update the list of approved countries on a weekly basis based on the scientific data.
Ioannou said the Cabinet did not discuss the reopening of crossing points.
The Cabinet will reevaluate all decisions on lifting lockdown restrictions to be able to take all necessary measures to ensure the virus is contained.