COVID19: Lockdown III to expire, curfew, SMS approval remain

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The government is preparing to end Lockdown III on 10 May as the spike in cases has tapered off, but the curfew will remain, as will text approval to leave home for non-essential business.

Cyprus will return to the same measures enforced before the lockdown on 26 April, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

The next couple of days will be decisive in presenting a clearer picture of the virus’ spread within the community and hospital admissions.

The Cabinet meets Wednesday evening to review new epidemiological data and recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee on COVID-19.

The final decisions will be announced on Sunday after an extraordinary Cabinet meeting.

Reliable sources have told CNA that some announcements might be made on Wednesday evening after the Cabinet meeting to help students and businesses prepare.

The Cabinet will also decide on Wednesday whether students will return to school after the Easter break.

Two scenarios are on the table; one concerns the return of all students on 10 May and the other the return to classes for only third-grade Lyceum students.

The remaining students will return to school a week later.

The return of all students seems the most favourable outcome suggested by the Minister of Education.

Among the issues to be examined are the four-monthly examinations and the possibility of extending the school year.

It is expected that decisions on the return of students to class will be announced by Friday.

Restriction of movement for Cypriots will remain, but instead of one SMS approval to exit the house, two messages will be allowed daily.

The curfew will also be shortened to start at 11 pm, instead of the current 9 pm.

The Cabinet will also decide whether to allow Cyprus residents to stay at local hotels from 10 May, when businesses reopen.

Hospitality is expected to reopen to serve customers in outdoor facilities, and limited home visits should also resume.

Daily infections have dropped from a high of 927 last month to below 600.