COVID19: Cyprus slowly exits Lockdown II

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Cyprus on Monday began the gradual exit of a second national lockdown to stem coronavirus which peaked in December with 907 cases.

As of Monday, barbershops, hairdressers, and beauty salons have reopened while businesses allowed to operate can have 50% of staff returning to the workplace.

An increase from 25% to 50% of staff can have a physical presence at work but all those returning must get tested.

Those returning on February 8 must also have a negative test while businesses are obliged to have 20% of their staff-tested every week.

The Health Ministry has increased testing stations to more than 50 with 28,364 tests were carried out on Sunday.

Companies are responsible for facilitating obligatory weekly rapid testing among staff, already physically present in their workplaces, on a rotation system.

House visits will be allowed, on condition of no more than two people at any one time.

However, people are still only be allowed to leave their homes twice a day while a 9 pm curfew remains in place for another two weeks with hospitality venues remaining closed.

The ministry has advised people to keep within social bubbles. All other gatherings in homes are still prohibited.

From 8 February

The retail sector, including department stores and malls, will reopen on 8 February but cafes and restaurants can only cater for takeaways or delivery until further notice.

Elementary schools and final year high school students can also to return to class.

Betting shops will also be allowed to reopen, but customers will only be allowed to place their bet and then leave.

As of 8 February, a maximum of 50 churchgoers will be allowed to attend a service. House visits will be increased to four people at a time.

Museums and other archaeological sites will also open.

The 9 pm-5 am curfew remains in place even during the second phase of easing the lockdown, with people still only allowed to leave their homes just twice a day.

Authorities have added number 9 to the list of SMS requests which can be used for a visit to hairdressers and beauticians. For house visits, people will have to use 5.

Outings to Troodos mountain trails are banned.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the aim was to restrict movement and contacts as much as possible.

Cyprus on Sunday announced two deaths and 106 new cases of Covid-19 from 28,364 tests with a positivity rate of 0.37%.

The total of cases reported in Cyprus now stands at 30,876 and 199 deaths.