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COVID19: No mask needed for walking the dog

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Confusion reigns among the public on mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors such as when walking the dog while ‘clarification’ offered by officials only make matters worse.

People are unsure whether if they are obligated to wear a mask while walking their pets, going out for a stroll in their neighbourhood or even the beach.

Masks are not needed for outdoor exercise, although dog-walking seems to be a grey area.

In comments to website Philenews on Tuesday, Cyprus Police spokesman Christos Andreou said that officers are instructed to act within the spirit of the law, and not so much according to the letter of the law.

“The use of a mask during a walk with a pet is not mandatory, even if the decrees do not clarify this”.

He did, however, note that if a police officer acted to the letter of the law, they could impose a fine of €300 on someone walking their dog in a deserted neighbourhood.

Andreou said that exceptions are made in these cases or when a person is carrying out agricultural work alone and there is no possibility of crossing paths with anybody.

He admitted that there have been cases where people were reported for such incidents but said these are isolated cases.

Indicatively, from the 1 August until the 8 November, 95,943 inspections were carried out, resulting in 2,438 fines for citizens not wearing a mask (indoors and outdoors), as well as against 724 premises.

Andreou said the Chief of Police has taken the initiative to exempt certain people from being reported for breaking the nighttime curfew in force from 11 pm to 5 am.

Police will not be reporting people who are going to the airport to pick up a relative or friend, as long as they can prove that they are on their way to or returning from the airport.