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COVID19: Cyprus introduces three-tier restrictions, masks until January

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Cyprus has introduced a three-tier system of measures to contain coronavirus while tackling the hotspots of Limassol and Paphos to ensure islandwide transmission is buffered.

Most of the new restrictions like the night-time curfew and hospitality closing at 10.30 pm come into effect from Thursday while other measures like compulsory mask-wearing will endure until mid-January.

There are also new limits on social events which come into effect later this month while, for the first time, people are encouraged to work from home if they can.

The Health Ministry’s anti-COVID measures and recommendations are listed below.

Category A

Medium-term measures in force across Cyprus 5 November 2020 – 15 January 2021:

  1. Operation of indoor and open-air cinemas, theatres and performance halls at 50% capacity, continues to be in force.
  2. The holding of conferences, assemblies and/or events in indoor conference venues, is allowed with a maximum number of participants set at 250 persons, social distancing at 3 sqm per person, regardless of the square metres of each facility. Intermissions or coffee/snack/cocktail breaks within the framework of the event are not allowed.
  3. Retail businesses of beverages and foodstuffs (supermarkets, minimarkets, butcheries, etc) and pharmacies, will only serve persons over 65 years old or with disabilities, from opening time until 9 am and from 1 pm until 2 pm.
  4. The use of a facemask by the general population, aged 12 years and above, becomes mandatory in indoor and outdoor areas.
  5. Weddings and christenings, from 13 November 2020 until 15 January 2021, cocktail parties and well-wishing ceremonies are not allowed. Physical presence is only allowed at lunch or dinner, with a maximum number of attendees set at 150. The maximum number of persons per table cannot exceed 6 persons.

Category B

Contingency islandwide measures, in force as of the 5 – 30 November:

  1. The maximum number of persons allowed to gather in homes and public places, except catering establishments, is set at 10 per house/group, inclusive of under-aged children.
  2. Operation of catering establishments and enterprises is permitted until 10:30 p.m. Catering services are considered the following: restaurants, catering services in hotels and tourist accommodations, catering services in malls and department stores, taverns, cafeterias, pizzerias, pubs, snack-bars and bars, coffee shops, canteens and/or refectories of sports clubs, cultural clubs, associations, societies, etc. It is clarified that the above establishments may provide delivery services after 10:30 p.m. Catering services at the Airports of Larnaca and Paphos are excluded from the ban.
  3. The maximum number of persons allowed in catering establishments is set at 75 persons in indoor areas and 150 in outdoor areas.
  4. The maximum number of persons per reservation/table/group in catering establishments can not to exceed 6 persons.
  5. The movement of citizens is banned from 11 pm until 5 am the next morning, excluding emergency medical reasons (to/from a pharmacy, hospital) or for work purposes by presenting a relevant certification or documentation.
  6. Church services and other forms of religious worship in mosques and other religious places can be conducted in the presence of a maximum 75 persons.
  7. The holding of professional sports fixtures is permitted, without spectators.
  8. The operation of children’s playgrounds is permitted, with a maximum number of 50 for indoor playgrounds and 150 in outdoor playgrounds, subject to the social distancing measures in force based on the square metres of each establishment. Organizing events at playgrounds (e.g. children’s birthday parties) with more than 10 persons – including adults and children – per event is forbidden.
  9. The use of changing rooms in gyms is forbidden.

Category C

Contingency measures for the Limassol and Paphos from 5_16 November:

Due to the deterioration of the outbreak and the increased epidemiological load that continues to be recorded, with latest data showing that from 17-30 of October in the Limassol District, the cumulative impact is 420 COVID cases per 100,000 and the accumulative impact for the Paphos District is 294 per 100.000, a three-fold increase from the previous fortnight, the following measures have been decided:

  1. All team sports and social activities for children under the age of 18 (e.g. football, dancing, swimming, martial arts, theatre, choir, etc.) are prohibited.
  2. Championship matches for athletes below 18, in the Districts of Limassol and Paphos, are suspended. For example, if a team based in Limassol or Paphos is playing with a team from Nicosia, the match shall be suspended until the measures are lifted.
  3. The operation of all children’s playgrounds, indoor or outdoor, is suspended.
  4. The operation of gyms is suspended.

Recommendations for businesses to encourage working from home

  1. Teleworking / working from home where possible (for example 30-50% of the total staff) with priority given to people belonging to vulnerable groups of the population.
  2. Separation and grouping of staff, so that they do not have contact with each other, with different working hours during the day or with shift hours, different workstations or otherwise.
  3. Separate staff/group breaks and avoidance of common areas for breaks.
  4. Remote meetings and teleconferences and limiting, as much as possible, the number and length of stay of outside visitors.