Police and the army were told to back off Thursday evening before activating roadblocks outside Limassol and Paphos, after orders from the top were put on hold to allow citizens under exception categories to get necessary documents in the morning to beat a partial lockdown expected to last until the end of the month.
According to local media, police officers and members of the National Guard were ready and in position to enforce random checkpoints Thursday evening but could not legally get to work because a decree had not been officially issued.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou delayed the executive order before an 8pm deadline, which would have signaled the start of a temporary lockdown for the districts of Limassol and Paphos in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus in Cyprus.
Following complaints and confusion over exception categories, officials said the decree would go into effect Friday at 12 noon, thus allowing workers to get any necessary documents
In addition to island-wide measures including night curfews through November 30, Limassol and Paphos will see stricter measures including a ban on movement of persons to and from the two districts, including between Limassol and Paphos, except for those working in essential services, traveling for a medical incident, or air and sea passengers in transit.
But following complaints and confusion over the exception categories, government officials said the decree for Limassol and Paphos lockdowns would go into effect Friday at 12 noon, thus giving workers more time to get any documents they may wish to show as proof of legitimate travel during a roadblock inspection.
The roadblocks will include the use of temporary installations such as plastic water-filled barriers, where police officers with the assistance of soldiers will block citizens from going in or coming out of the two districts without a legitimate purpose.
So far a number of roadblock areas have been made public, with police spokesperson Christos Andreou saying there would be checks in Stavros tis Psokas towards Kykkos, Pomos towards Pachyammos, Governor’s Beach, Oras, Agios Nicolaos in Paphos, Pissouri towards Paphos, Palaichori towards Agros, Karvounas road, and Prodromos.
It was also announced additionally that workers who fall under the exception categories would also need to have a PCR test showing they tested negative for the coronavirus, starting from Wednesday November 18 at 5pm. Test results cannot be considered valid for longer than seven days from date of issuance, according to officials.
Travel to and from Paphos or Limassol districts, including between the two areas, remained unrestricted Friday morning until 12 noon.