Cyprus maintained its streak of minimal new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as just one new case was announced two days before the initiation of the second phase of the relaxation of measures that will see restrictions on movement lifted.
The new case, which emerged after 1,882 samples were checked for the virus, involved a member of staff of a microbiology lab of a General Hospital.
The case brought total known cases to 918.
“The near zero numbers confirm the immense efforts we are making as a country and a community over the past two months,” a member of the health advisory committee said during the Health Ministry’s daily coronavirus briefing.
The unfolding epidemiological picture means the island can confidently move into the second phase of the lifting of restrictions on Thursday.
The second phase will see restrictions on movement and curfew times fully scrapped, while gatherings will be permitted in groups of up to 10 people.
Parks, playareas in outdoor spaces, squares, and marinas will reopen for the public, but again subject to the 10 people rule.
Thursday will also see several businesses resume operation, including hair salons, barber shops, and beauty salons. Restaurants, cafes, and beer bars will be able to receive customers in outdoor areas.
The gradual return to normality will however be enduringly governed by health and safety protocols.
Speaking earlier on Tuesday, member of the health advisory committee Constantinos Tsioutis said that we must learn to live with the virus in our lives, adding that protection measures will likely remain in effect until early 2021 at the earliest.