While Cyprus heads into the New Year under a tight regime of restrictive measures, the police are preparing to step up checks during household celebrations.
With restaurants, bars and clubs closed, and just 10 people from two households allowed to gather for New Year celebrations in homes, Cyprus police said it will be checking households if they receive complaints about decree violations.
Police spokesperson Christos Andreou told the Cyprus News Agency that checks on private premises will only be carried out upon the approval of the owner or with a search warrant.
“The aim is the immediate intervention of the Police when violations of government decrees are identified, to prevent the spread of the virus through social gatherings,” said Andreou.
He argued that the police are primarily concerned over safeguarding public health.
“Police inspections will be carried out when and where it is deemed necessary,” said Andreou.
Since 12 December, a special police task force was created to intensify checks and ensure implementation of the measures introduced to stem the pandemic.
In an attempt to enhance communication with the public, police hotlines for citizens to report offences was introduced. These numbers are 1460, 22606803 and 22608004.
Following record numbers of COVID-19 cases, the government on Tuesday banned all home visitors, limiting the bubble to the members of that household only until January 10.
The government also instructed all civil servants to work from home, leaving the state to operate only with a skeleton staff.
Despite the new restrictions and warnings from health officials, the administration is allowing home visits on New Year’s Eve, in what is perceived as an attempt to appease the public.
A vast majority of Cypriots broke the ten-per-household rule and found ways to evade the restriction on Christmas Day.
Up to 10 people from only two families or households will be allowed to celebrate indoors New Year’s Eve when the 9 pm curfew is extended to 1 am.