The Republic of Cyprus entered on Monday a second phase of relaxing lockdown measures for COVID-19, including the reopening of retail stores, shopping malls, and schools.
According to local media, the numbers of daily new cases of coronavirus were said to be steady with the infection rate dropping considerably.
Students going back to school included some 60,000 pupils in all elementary grades as well as seniors in high school and vocational institutes, while other grades would continue online education.
While rapid tests are mandatory for teachers and school staff, the education ministry has not made COVID tests mandatory for students.
Cypriot authorities argued that the lifting of restrictions ought to take place only gradually and in a controlled manner in order to avoid serious setbacks
The relaxation of measures comes a week after barbershops and hair salons were allowed to open, in an effort by the government to gradually energize the economy, while many other countries had yet to take bold measures.
But last week, according to the World Health Organization, the number of new cases of COVID-19 reported globally had fallen for the third week in a row.
Cypriot authorities said they were calling on citizens and particularly students to remain vigilant by adhering to protocols and complying with emergency measures, noting that the lifting of restrictions ought to take place only gradually and in a controlled manner in order to avoid serious setbacks.
Other re-openings include museums, archeological sites, as well as lottery shops only for quick in-and-out visits. Churches and cinemas can also operate with a maximum of 50 attendees at any given time.
Home visits are allowed with up to four guests while some sports activities were also set to resume Monday.
All passengers arriving on the island from permitted country categories must self isolate for 72 hours and also take a PCR test, while those coming from the UK need to self isolate for 7 days and have a negative test in order to exit quarantine.