Bummed dog owners in the Republic of Cyprus were relieved to hear on Tuesday that walking a family pet out in the neighbourhood would not count against a person’s limit of one outing per day under tighter coronavirus measures.
According to a statement by the Animal Party Cyprus, whose representatives said they had a phone conversation with the agriculture minister, pet owners who take their dogs out for routine walks are not required to send an SMS text to get permission.
“It goes without saying that movement under this category is not limited to one time daily, as long as dog walking takes place near and around the residence,” the statement said.
Dog owners, who flooded the interior ministry with phone calls seeking clarification, took to social media to express their frustration over a false dilemma presented to them in the latest measures
Pet owners and dog walkers, who flooded the interior ministry with phone calls seeking clarification earlier this week, took to social media to express their frustration over a false dilemma presented to them in the latest measures against the coronavirus spread that went into effect on Tuesday morning.
People on social media were asking whether they should walk their dog or go to buy food or groceries, saying it was not possible to comply with the one-outing-per-day rule as many had to walk their dogs at least twice a day.
According to the new measures, the public can request permission to go outside only once a day by sending an SMS to 8998. The restriction came following days of no limits whatsoever on the number of messages a person could send in order to get permission.
Interior Minister Nikos Nouris defended the limit on Monday citing abuse of the system by some people over the weekend.
Nouris also said people had to come to a realization that thier daily routines had to change, calling on his fellow citizens including dog owners to plan their daily outings more carefully.
But Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis confirmed on Tuesday that pet owners can take their dogs on daily walks for their canine’s physical needs in the same way they did before the measures against the pandemic, without having to send a text.
Besides their dogs, pet owners going outside under the physical activity category must also carry their ID cards in case a police officer might have a reason to ask for proof of identification, APC said.