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COVID19: Cyprus takes cautious next step out of Lockdown II

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Cyprus will ease out of COVID-19 lockdown with the last students going back to school on Friday; while people will be given an extra home exit on weekends, the curfew stays.

Gyms and private tutoring institutions will be allowed to accommodate more customers and students.

Maintaining their stance that exiting lockdown should not be rushed, scientists advised the government Cyprus’ epidemiological state does not seem to be improving, with coronavirus cases still high on Monday.

However, scientists are encouraged by the number of hospital admissions dropping, with the government also under pressure to lift more restrictions.

Experts have proposed that gymnasium students can return on Friday on the condition they are tested weekly.

As of Monday, the rapid testing of minors, both at schools and designated free testing stations, will be done differently.

Testing will be less ‘invasive’ since the swab will enter just two cm into the nose.

All students returning to school on Friday will be instructed to get tested 24 hours before.

Scientists have reportedly also suggested that a quarter (25%) of fifth- and sixth-year elementary students get tested with the new method weekly.

Acknowledging fatigue among the public, the government is expected to let people leave their homes three times a day instead of two on Saturdays and Sundays.

On weekdays, people will still have just 2 SMS at their disposal to request leaving their home, while an 11 pm curfew remains at least until the end of April.

Students allowed to attend a private lesson is expected to increase from four to six.

Gyms can accommodate more people, but the government has to decide how many should be allowed at a time.

Gyms and dance schools are allowed to facilitate two people if their facility is 80 square metres, from 80-200 sqm three people are allowed over 200 sqm a maximum of five.

The trainer or teacher is included in the number of people allowed.

Scientists propose that house visitors can also increase slightly from four to six.

Restrictions on gatherings at parks and public open spaces are also expected to be lifted, and outdoor sporting events.

The government has also been advised that people in essential services should get vaccinated.

Churchgoers will have to wait a little longer before they are allowed to attend mass in large numbers.

A maximum of 50 people is currently allowed to attend a church service, with 1 person allowed for every 3 square metres.

There appears to be a consensus that relaxations for churches will be introduced during Easter Week.

Relaxations on weddings and baptisms have also been put on ice until early May.

Measures are to be rubberstamped on Wednesday at a cabinet meeting.

To date, 44,991 have been infected with coronavirus, while 254 COVID-19 deaths have been reported.