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COVID19: Cypriots must learn to live with coronavirus measures

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Without a vaccine in sight, Cypriots must learn to live with COVID-19 restrictions for some time to come such as practising social distancing and mask-wearing.

An expert in infection prevention and control, Constantinos Tsioutis told CNA that even if a vaccine becomes available, the restrictions will not be lifted until its effectiveness is proven.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting which will examine further measures to curb the spread of the virus, Tsioutis said the need for additional measures is evident, both in areas where there is a spike in cases and the rest of the country.

He argued that special care must be taken for vulnerable groups like the elderly and people with chronic diseases.

It is widely expected that the government will announce an islandwide curfew from 11 pm to 5 am while all bars, cafes and restaurants will have to close at 10.30 pm.

The hotspots of Limassol and Paphos can expect tighter measures to be introduced.

“What we must all understand is the need to adapt our daily lives, which first and foremost includes observing personal safety measures, minimizing contacts as much as possible, protecting our health and that of those around us,” Tsioutis said.

He expressed hope that the new measures to be announced would improve the situation.

“We must understand that social distancing measures and those reducing the maximum number of people at gatherings will be around for many months to come.”

The expert said the most effective measure was the vaccine and that even then “we must see its effectiveness in practice”.