Come Monday, when the number of permitted outings per day is set to increase to three, those living in inland Cyprus will be able to travel cross-district for a swim at the sea.
In his national address on Wednesday night, President Nicos Anastasiades said that the first phase of the island’s lockdown exit strategy, to be implemented on May 4, will include a resumption of the public’s ability to enjoy individual exercise at walking paths in parks, which have so far been closed to the public, and at the sea.
The public will be permitted to go for a swim in groups of no more than two. Minors are excluded from this development.
Issuing a clarification on Thursday, the Health Ministry said that during the first phase of the gradual loosening of restriction measures (May 4-May 21), cross-district travel will remain prohibited, except for the provision of care to vulnerable groups and going for a swim.
“It goes without saying that movements must be made within a reasonable period of time and people must return to their place of residence by 10pm the latest when the curfew starts,” the ministry said.
Until restrictions on movement are completely lifted on May 21, which marks the onset of phase two, the public will still need to use the SMS system and receive permission for their travels.
Organized beaches won’t resume operations until June 1, Anastasiades said, so people visiting the coasts will have to make do without sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent.
But that might be for the best. Last week, Virology Professor and government consultant Petros Karayiannis said that while swimming is safe, given that even if seawater containing coronavirus is swallowed it will go directly to the stomach where it will be eviscerated by acids, sunbeds still pose considerable danger and will need to be disinfected after each user.