A crucial event is taking place on Friday at the Presidential Palace, as the epidemiological taskforce is meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades to assess the situation on the ground and the next steps in easing lockdown restrictions.
The Health Advisory Committee was set to meet with Anastasiades Friday morning at 10:30am in what has been described as “very crucial” discussion on whether to give the green light for the second phase of relaxing the lockdown measures against COVID-19.
Health experts so far have not expressed serious concerns or problems with embarking on the second phase, citing a number of “encouraging” epidemiological indicators.
Local media began showcasing people’s plans as soon as measures are lifted, with many saying they would invite friends over for dinner or that they would go visit friends and family out of town.
But it won’t be until next week that the President’s Cabinet will made a decision, following Friday’s assessment and Monday’s meeting with political leaders
But questions have been raised over school re-openings, a plan that was being pushed by the government, with discussion on the matter expected to be a main focus in the meeting.
According to a health advisory team member, Petros Karayiannis who spoke with the Cyprus News Agency, Friday’s meeting was taking place in order to review the epidemiological picture “so that president knows where we stand and if it is okay for measures to be further relaxed.”
“We will talk about schools and airports, tourism and cafeterias, hair salons and football and everything that encompasses the next phases”, Karayiannis told CNA.
But it won’t be until next week that the President’s Cabinet will made a decision, following Friday’s assessment as well as this coming Monday’s meeting with political leaders.
According to government spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos, the president will meet with political leaders to discuss issues of the economy “with particular emphasis on state guarantees in regards to cash injections for business activity.”
According to CNA, the president is expected to address the nation to announce the next set of measures. The second phase is set to begin May 21 and last through June 8, and currently it is said to include:
- Hair salons, barber shops, beauty salons (from 21 May)
- Restaurant businesses will resume operations but only in outdoors spaces and on the basis of strict protocols issued by the Ministries of Labour and Health (from 21 May)
- Libraries (from 1st June)
- Museums, archaeological and historic sites (from 1st June)
- Betting shops (from 1st June)
- Ports start full operation, with the exception of passengers getting off from cruise ships.
From May 21st, all restrictions of citizens movement are lifted and no SMS will be required.
People will be able to visit parks, playgrounds, open spaces, squares, marinas and so on, provided that no more than 10 people are gathered together.