Cyprus will lift more COVID-19 restrictions from Saturday by pushing back the curfew to 1 am before scrapping it on 10 June.
Cypriots have endured more than seven months of curfew restrictions which started with local lockdowns in October and extended islandwide in November last year.
On 1 June, house visits will increase to a maximum of 20 people, restaurants can open their indoor facilities, while on 10 June night clubs will be allowed to reopen after 15 months on lockdown.
Following a vaccination backed improvement of the island’s epidemiological data, the cabinet decided on Thursday that Cyprus could relax restrictions.
Expressing the government’s satisfaction over the improving COVID-19 landscape since a third lockdown in April, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou announced further relaxations from 29 May.
Ioannou said the cabinet decisions “are another big step towards normalcy, resulting from the cooperation shown by the vast majority of citizens”.
He argued the timing of relaxations is ideal as it allows the government to proceed with its plans to restart the economy and social activities.
The Minister attributed Cyprus’ improved epidemiological data to the “people’s great response to the call to get vaccinated, increasing the protective shield for the community.”
“With 51% of our fellow citizens vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and 25% of the population having completed their vaccination, our country is among the leaders in the European Union.
“We are even closer to achieving our target of vaccinating 65% of the population with at least the first dose by the end of June.”
COVID-19 measures to be lifted
The night-time curfew will be pushed back to 1 am until 5 am. It will be scrapped on 10 June.
The number of people allowed at home gatherings will increase from 10 to 20, including permanent residents and children.
Bars, cafes, and restaurants will be allowed to welcome customers at their indoor facilities.
Nightclubs will also be allowed to reopen under tight health protocols.
Churches will be allowed to accommodate people up to 50% of their capacity. The same will apply to casinos, conferences, theatres, cinemas, and arts venues.
Restriction on the physical presence of employees in their workplaces, which currently allows up to 50% of private-sector employees to be present, will also be lifted.
In earlier measures announced, from 1 June, social events such as weddings and christening parties can cater to 150 guests seated indoors or 280 at an outdoor facility.
Couples can hold cocktail receptions with a maximum of 250 guests at any given time.
Parties can only be held at restaurants and hotels’ outdoor facilities.
A two-week national lockdown was imposed on 26 April when Cyprus’ daily tally of COVID-19 cases had hit an all-time high of 941 on 20 April, as patients in hospitals exceeded 300.
Cases in recent days have remained in double digits, with authorities reporting just 69 new cases, a positivity rate of 0.17%.
Hospitals also reported fewer COVID admissions, as 95 patients were in hospitals on Wednesday, of which 35 were critical.
Cyprus has reported 72,159 cases and 357 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.