COVID19: Cyprus 9 pm curfew, gyms shut, hospitality early closing

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From November 30, Cyprus will lift lockdowns in Limassol and Paphos but impose a nationwide eight-hour night-time curfew with earlier closing for restaurants and bars to buffer the pandemic.

A nationwide curfew will apply between the hours of 9:00 pm and 05:00 am from November 30 until December 13, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.

This ends a two-tier curfew system, which had seen the capital Nicosia under curfew for only six hours each night from 11:00 pm.

Limassol and Paphos — both areas where caseloads have been high —  will have their lockdowns lifted at the end of November, after a near-total prohibition on movements in and out of those coastal resort cities and their wider districts.

“This year’s holidays will be unprecedented, but we must protect our public health system and the ones we love,” Ioannou told reporters Friday.

Bars, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and other hospitality venues must shut nationwide at 7:00 pm after previously allowed to remain open until 10:30 pm outside Limassol and Paphos districts.

Only food delivery allowed after 7:00 pm.

Schools can return to normal in lockdown areas, but gyms everywhere will have to close.

Shops, shopping malls, hair salons, cinemas, theatres, and museums will operate under tightened social distancing rules.

Half of the 48 coronavirus deaths recorded nationwide since the outbreak of the virus in March have come in November.

Cyprus registered 220 new virus cases on Thursday, taking the total number of recorded infections to 9,673.

Ioannou said there would be relaxations for the Christmas holidays if the situation improves, including a loosening of the curfew — and later closing times for hospitality — between December 14 and January 7.

But he also warned that policies could become tighter if the coronavirus caseload worsens.

Cyprus had largely kept a lid on the pandemic by introducing an early lockdown in March gradually eased from early May.

Health authorities blame the spike on Cypriots flouting hygiene rules, including on mask-wearing and social distancing.

Face masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors, except at home, while household gatherings are limited to 10 people, as are weddings and funerals.

25 measures from November 30 – 14 December

  1. Curfew starting at 9 pm and ending at 5 am the following morning. Those exempt from the measure: People moving for, hospital visits and hunters travelling.
  2. Only up to 10 people are allowed to gather in households, including minors.
  3. Places of worship will remain open with a maximum number of 75 people
  4. weddings, christenings, funerals held with a maximum of 10 people.
  5. Cocktail and dinner parties for weddings, christenings and other events are prohibited
  6. It is prohibited to visit patients at a medical facility
  7. Restaurants, cafes, pubs, and other catering businesses will have to close at 7 pm, with only food delivery allowed after this time.
  8. Buses will only be allowed to carry passengers up to 50% of their capacity
  9. Gyms are closed
  10. Betting shops will close
  11. Casinos to suspend their operations
  12. swimming pools will also close. People who take part in therapeutic sessions allowed in groups of four, including the instructor
  13. Fitness centres, swimming pools and spas as well as on-site catering facilities at hotels may only be used to accommodate guests and may remain open until 22:30.
  14. Ports will only be open for cargo ships.
  15. Suspension of training and sports events for persons under-18s

(b) suspension of training and sporting events, with the exception of the first, second and third division championships and the national team

(c) suspension of sports facilities, except for professional use

  1. Prohibition of all team sports and social activities for children under 18, including football, dance, theatre, swimming, martial arts, etc.
  2. Gatherings in public places like parks, squares, reservoirs, picnic areas, beaches, marinas, are banned,
  3. Courts will resume operation under protocols issued
  4. Prohibition of gatherings in public or private places for special events such as Christmas bazaars, except those organized in amphitheatres/theatres with participants being seated.
  5. At private and public sector services only 1 person per 8 sqm, only by appointment (where applicable).
  6. Open-air markets will operate at 50% capacity with 1 customer for every 1.5 square metres.
  7. Play areas, theme parks and Luna parks are to close.
  8. Camping areas will close
  9. Demonstrations prohibited

If Cyprus’ epidemiological data improves, some measures will be relaxed from 14 December with the night curfew being moved to 11 pm and restaurants and bars allowed to stay open until 10.30 pm.

On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, catering facilities can stay open until 12.30 am and the curfew will begin at 2 am until 6 am.

During the festive holidays, from 23 December to 1 January, up to 15 people can gather in homes.