The latest measures against the spread of the coronavirus went into effect on Monday, including a night curfew across all districts, as calls for all citizens to be tested multiplied just before Christmas holidays.
Emergency measures imposed by the government began Monday and will last through December 13, aiming at preventing the spread of COVID-19 across all districts in the Republic of Cyprus.
The measures, which were decided by the Cabinet last Friday, include an island-wide night curfew starting in the evening at 9pm and ending early morning at 5am. Exceptions to the rule include movement for work reasons, as well as medical reasons such as transportation to and from the hospital, pharmacy, and the vet.
Church services and other forms of religious worship in religious places, as well as religious ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 75 persons attending, but that number comes down to 10 if churchgoers are attending a wedding, christening, or funeral. Reception gatherings for those types of social events are only allowed in residential homes with a limit of 10 persons including minors.
Calls for a total lockdown did not go away, as both professionals and medical experts pointed out risks of failing to stop a second wave of the coronavirus
Restaurants and catering establishments are also under orders to shut down every night at 7pm but take out and home delivery can continue after closing hours.
The new rule also lifts previous lockdown orders for Paphos and Limassol, which had been criticized by the public as being “unfair” and “inconsistent” with other rules.
But calls for a total lockdown did not go away, as both professionals and medical experts pointed out the risks of failing to stop a second wave of the coronavirus.
The Republic of Cyprus backed away from a total lockdown, with some government officials and groups within industries saying the economy could not take another hit.
But government officials, mainly Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, said people have to adhere to all health protocols and the latest measures in order to avoid further action.
In statements made to the Cyprus News Agency, professor George Panos took things a step further, suggesting all people in Cyprus be tested for COVID-19.
Panos, who teaches pathology at the University of Cyprus’ Medical School, went on to explain that his recommendation everyone tested within one week with an additional repeat test “in order to prevent a total lockdown.”
The professor suggested that if people took the test within a short period of time up to seven days, those testing positive could be isolated and those testing negative in a repeat test could carry on with economic activities, thus preventing a total lockdown.
“In this way, society can function in a more convenient way, with no restrictions and strict measures,” Panos said.