Wearing masks outdoors will become obligatory while a night-time curfew is to be imposed in the Limassol and Paphos districts after 11 pm from Friday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.
After a cabinet meeting on Thursday to review the worsening COVID crisis, the Health Minister said that the use of masks will be mandatory everywhere, including “public open spaces”.
For virus hotspots Limassol and Paphos there will be a ban on free movement after 11 pm – until 5 am the next day – unless essential or for work.
To stop the rapid spread of COVID-19, national measures include a ceiling of 10 people at any social gatherings outdoors or in households.
Places of worships can only have a maximum of 75 people.
Official sports fixtures must be conducted without spectators.
The maximum number of persons allowed to be served in catering establishments is 75 for indoor spaces and 150 for outdoor spaces.
Tables at restaurants, bars or sit down events should seat no more than six people.
Cinemas, theatres, and event halls are allowed a maximum 50% of capacity.
Cocktail parties and receptions at weddings and christenings are banned.
A physical presence is only allowed for lunch or dinner with a maximum number of 350 sitting down to eat at such celebrations.
Vulnerable groups and anyone aged 60 or over have priority in at supermarkets and visits to the pharmacy between 8-9 am.
Tighter measures to be applied in Limassol and Paphos will see restaurants, bars, events halls and coffee shops close at 10.30 pm.
Also, children’s extra-curriculum activities such as swimming, dance or martial arts lessons have been banned. Under 18 sporting events have been called off.
These measures begin on Friday, 23 October until 9 November.
Ioannou had met earlier Thursday with the advisory committee on the coronavirus to discuss the situation.
The Minister told reporters that Limassol is estimated to have 180 cases/100,000 inhabitants with Paphos following with 80 case/100,000.
The new measures follow the steep rise in cases over the last few days.
In total, 785 new cases have been recorded over the past seven days, with daily new infections peaking at 202 on Saturday and 152 on Tuesday.
On Wednesday health authorities had reported 127 cases, the third-highest figure since the outbreak in early March.
Since the end of September, daily cases have risen by 69%.