COVID19: Lifting of lockdown measures will be gradual

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Any lifting of lockdown measures in place until the end of January should be made gradually with specific aims, said COVID-19 government advisor Dr Maria Koliou.

She told the Cyprus News Agency, the scientific committee will exchange views Tuesday during a videoconference, but the Cabinet will take final decisions.

The January 10 lockdown is scheduled to end at the end of the month.

Hospitality and retail shops have closed, home visits are banned, people can only leave home twice a day, there is a 9 pm curfew lasting eight hours.

Koliou pointed out that measures must be lifted in a targeted way to prevent a new surge in cases that have exceeded 29,000.

She said that self-protection measures such as face masks and social distancing will probably be in place until the summer or when immunity has been achieved through vaccinations.

Scientists say the workplace still poses a high risk as too many people gathering in the same space and businesses should reduce in-house staff to the minimum.

Moreover, admissions to ICUs are still on the rise, but there are no more clusters in care homes while the median age of hospitalizations has decreased.

Dr Koliou said that trials have shown that around 60% protection is secured two weeks after receiving the first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19.