A recent traveler who was instructed to remain in self isolation but was out and about was greeted by police officers at the door, with authorities saying they were stepping up home inspections to combat quarantine violations.
Local media said health officials on Monday failed to reach four individuals by phone, after they were all instructed to remain isolated at home and in phone contact with health administrators in an effort to combat the spread of the infectious coronavirus disease.
In one case, a person who traveled from the United States and was instructed to remain isolated for 14 days, was found to have visited places in Larnaca and Limassol.
Police confirmed that they were notified this week by health administrators regarding four individuals, three in Nicosia and one in Larnaca, who were not responding to phone calls from the public health monitoring unit.
When police officers went to check on them, one individual was not at home and law enforcement officials parked outside the residence until the violator came back
When police officers went to check on them, one individual was not at home and law enforcement officials parked outside the residence until the violator came back from an outing.
In three other cases, people were found to be in their homes by the time officers knocked on their doors.
Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis posted Monday on social media a reminder that public health offenders would face €300 fines as well as up to a year in prison and up to €50,000 in fines for those who spread infectious diseases while breaking quarantine.
Last week, heath officials were stunned upon discovering that a woman who also traveled from the US had managed to spread the virus, infecting at least 14 people.
Police said they were stepping up efforts to monitor people in self-isolation, including calling them and knocking on the door to ensure they are home, isolated, and not having social visits.
Law enforcement officials said they would seek further legal ways to conduct inspections even for citizens at home if they refuse to cooperate fully with police.
The Republic of Cyprus has been in an uphill battle since last month, after a number of clusters were detected across the island, especially in Limassol.
Experts agree that both infected passengers who passed undetected through airports as well as infections resulting from protocol violations both contributed to the recent spike, with the government announcing more strict measures to contain the spread before it could get out of hand.