COVID19: Hospitality sector to open in mid-March

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Cyprus will ease more lockdown measures to halt the second wave of COVID-19 in the next couple of weeks with hospitality getting the nod, said Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou.

In comments to state broadcaster CyBC TV, Ioannou said the authorities will gradually start lifting more measures after the end of February.

Currently, lockdown rules include a restriction on movements, limited home visits, and a night curfew while hospitality venues also remain shut.

Without going into details on the roadmap Cyprus will follow out of lockdown, the Health Minister did say that restaurants and cafes will be allowed to open within the first 15 days of March.

Food and drink establishments can only provide delivery and takeaway services while bars are completely closed, since before the lockdown imposed on 10 January.

Ioannou said the hospitality sector will be reopening based on an action plan and health protocols without elaborating.

Commenting on the progress of the country’s vaccination program, Ioannou said that health services plan to vaccinate 300,000 by June.

The second national lockdown was imposed on 10 January when the entire retail sector was shut down, civil servants went home, and businesses reduced their on-site workforce to 20% after daily infections peaked at 907 on December 29.

The lockdown was eased on 1 February with 50% of employees allowed to return to their offices while elementary schools reopened, and final-year high school students returned to class on 8 February.

The retail sector also reopened on 8 February and churches can hold mass for up to 50 people a time.

Currently, people can only leave their homes twice a day after requesting permission via an SMS sent to 8998.