Police in the Republic of Cyprus say they remain vigilant during the pandemic lockdown, concerned that signals for a possible lift of restrictive measures could make people feel less obligated to comply.
According to Police Chief Kyrpos Michaelides, law enforcement officers were still on alert, carrying out inspections to enforce current lockdown measures and prosecuting violators.
More weekend violations
On Sunday there were 125 decree violations out of 4620 movement inspections as well as one business violation out of 509 checks, which were higher than previous days.
Reports indicated some violators were not fully compliant with police instructions, including one adult male in Limassol who did not try to obtain permission to go outside and refused to show identification documents.
The man, described as a foreign national in his sixties, was on his bicycle when officers flagged him down for inspection according to Reporter.
“I am not a slave, I can go wherever I want,” he reportedly told officers who placed him under arrest for failure to show identification documents.
Police: bishops should face justice
Michaelides also told state-funded RIK News that two bishops identified in cases involving church violations were being investigated for possible criminal violations after reports emerged alleging that they had incited worshippers to break the rules.
“I believe these cases ought to be brought forward and face justice, provided that the Legal Department makes that decision, because as I have said repeatedly no one is above the law,” Michaelides said.
Plan to be announced this week
The police chief’s comments as “good news” emerged on Sunday from the government’s epidemiology task force, according to which the known the infection rate was low enough to recommend a gradual undoing of the measures in place.
The administration got thumbs up from local health experts, paving the way for officials to take decisions as early as this week to start loosening restriction measures. Reports said the ease of restrictions was likely to take place in four phases every two weeks.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said officials were now turning their attention to “minimizing losses” that the pandemic had caused in society and the country’s economy.
“The pleasant news paves the way for the next step. We have a plan for the gradual lift of restrictive measures and a return to normality,” Ioannou said.