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COVID19: Cyprus demolishing lockdown brick by brick

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Cyprus lifted more COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday, as house gatherings increased, wedding parties allowed, from 10 June restaurants can use indoor facilities, night clubs will reopen after 15 months on lockdown.

Keeping daily cases in double-digit figures for a week, Cyprus health authorities feel comfortable to go ahead with another series of relaxations, following a vaccination-backed improvement of the island’s epidemiological data.

The Health Ministry said the test positivity rate stood at 0.09% by with daily coronavirus infections falling below 50.

Cases are at their lowest ebb following a recent spike of 940 cases that triggered a two-week lockdown on 26 April.

As of Tuesday, the maximum number of people allowed to be present at house gatherings increases from 10 to 20, including residents, both adults and minors.

Exemptions to the 20-person ceiling can be granted upon request from the Health Ministry, only in the case of a wedding or christening.

The night curfew, pushed back to 1 am last Saturday and lasts until 5 am, will remain in place until 10 June before being scrapped.

Cypriots have endured more than seven months of curfew restrictions which started with local lockdowns in October and extended islandwide in November last year.

Until 10 June, the number of people allowed indoors in public places, such as casinos, conferences and trade fair venues, theatres, amphitheatres, and other performing arts venues, is set at 50% of the capacity of each venue.

Church services, weddings and christenings will be allowed provided the physical presence does not exceed 50% of capacity.

A Safe Pass is also required for indoor events.

People over 12 years old are allowed entrance to such venues, provided they carry a Safe Pass.

It can be a negative COVID PCR or rapid test taken within the last 72 hours, proof of vaccination of at least one dose taken three weeks earlier, or proof of recovering from the virus within the past six months.

Social events return with weddings, christenings, graduation parties in restaurants, and other hospitality or entertainment venues with a maximum of 150 people indoors for lunch or dinner or 280 people seated outdoors.

Couples planning to get married or christen their child can have up to 250 people at any time only outdoors for a reception/cocktail party.

The Safe Pass is mandatory for these activities.

Private tutoring can resume under pre-COVID conditions, as restrictions on the number of students allowed will be lifted.

All theme parks, playgrounds and amusement parks get the go-ahead, whether indoor or outdoor, but cannot hold any social events or functions.

From 10 June

As planned, 10 June will see the last of the lockdown restrictions scrapped, as nightclubs can open; bars, cafes, and restaurants will be allowed to welcome customers at their indoor facilities.

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.