The President’s Cabinet decided on Tuesday to extend measures throughout the winter holidays with only slight deviations on special days, noting recent developments did not allow a further lift of restrictions aimed at combating the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, who emerged from a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, said current measures announced in early December were being extended through 10 January, while the government’s health task force was to evaluate the situation in the meantime.
Ioannou, who said the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was high, said the government was not satisfied with the latest figures and overall situation with the pandemic.
'The epidemiological figures remain at an unsafe level and for this reason, according to the health task force, an ease on current restrictions is not recommended'
“The epidemiological figures remain at an unsafe level and for this reason, according to the health task force, an ease on current restrictions is not recommended,” Ioannou said.
But the minister went on to say that exceptions to a night curfew, currently in effect every day from 9pm until 5am, will take place on Christmas Eve starting at 11pm and on New Year’s Eve starting at 1am.
According to the Cabinet’s decision, a 10 person limit on gatherings in private residences would still be in effect every single day throughout the holiday period.
The decision also allows church services to take place on Christmas Day, December 25, as well as on Epiphany on January 6, with the Cabinet noting that a 75-person limit and social distancing rules were still in place.
Reports said the decision on church services came after Archbishop Chrysostomos met with President Nicos Anastasiades, with the government calling on the Church of Cyprus to arrange for extra services on Christmas Day and Epiphany if more worshippers wished to attend, so that no health protocols would be violated.