COVID19: Police boost checks on gyms, entertainment venues

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Police Chief Stelios Papatheodorou has instructed officers to step up checks on establishments for possible violation of COVID-19 rules, as the force comes under criticism for not doing enough to prevent contagion.

While health authorities believe the resurgence of COVID-19 is down to the violation of protocols, reports have put the spotlight on the police for allegedly failing to monitor gyms, bars, cinemas and restaurants.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou told the Financial Mirror officers will increase checks at establishments that fall under their jurisdiction such as gyms, hospitality, and other entertainment spots.

Andreou refuted claims that police only check establishments after a complaint is made.

“Gyms and other recreational facilities fall under our jurisdiction as agreed with the Health Ministry on 30 September.

Earlier in the week, we had intervened at a sports facility in Paralimni where an under-14s basketball team was training.”

He said that the practice game was broken up, and the head coach reported for violating the infectious diseases law.

“He will appear before a court in the coming days.”

“Officers cannot be everywhere at once. There is a huge number of establishments to check. We call on the public to help out and report any violations they spot by calling the hotline 1460.

“We are pleased with the public’s help on the matter. We receive hundreds of reports every day regarding violations of decrees and we are doing our best to respond,” said Andreou.

Meanwhile, police have carried out 490 inspections of premises throughout Cyprus on Thursday, checking if COVID-19 measures are being observed.

These checks resulted in a total of 4 establishments and 10 citizens being reported.

Cyprus has reported 1,918 cases and 24 deaths attributed to COVID-19.