COVID19: Cyprus eases restrictions on exercise, leisure activities

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Cyprus is relaxing restrictions on social activities such as sports while theatres and cinemas will also be allowed to reopen from Monday, following a cabinet decision.

Due to improved epidemiological data, authorities will be allowing individuals to train in groups of up to five in open spaces such as parks and beaches while cinemas and theatres can host up to 50 people.

The Health Ministry said individual training will be allowed in all sports in open facilities, parks, and beaches, with a maximum number of five people of any age, including their coach.

Cinemas and theatres would also benefit from an improved COVID-19 picture.

Regarding exercise and sporting activity, physical contact is still prohibited, meaning that people cannot yet play contact sports such as football as part of their exercise routines.

“The activity is only permitted for the purpose of exercise and physical conditioning,” said the Health Ministry.

More specifically, sports training is allowed in all outdoor sports facilities with a maximum number of five people including the trainer, except on football pitches where the training of up to three different groups is permitted with a maximum number of five people per group.

The Health Ministry emphasised that the members of each team should be the same for each session.

Team sports events, except first division leagues, were suspended, but the cabinet has decided to allow second-tier teams to start training on Monday with league matches to restart on 13 February.

All games will be played without spectators.

Regarding lower divisions, players can start training in groups of five, including the coach, but without physical contact, concentrating on skill and endurance drills.

Three separate groups of five will be allowed to train at the same time on football pitches.

All staff and athletes over 12 years of age will have to undergo a COVID-19 test by February 8, before returning to training.

From then on, 50% of staff and athletes over 12 must undergo screening weekly.

People wanting to train in group sessions, whether individuals or athletes will need to send a text message to 8998, before setting off for practice.

Minors will need to have written permission from their parents.

Trainers and coaches must have a form filled by their employer.

The Health Ministry said it will carry out random checks.

People wanting to go see a play or catch a movie will have to send in an SMS to 8998 with indication 9 and 6 for sports training.