A hairstylist who tested positive for COVID-19 and suffered the wrath of the press after police cited him for violating health protocols says he did not break any laws, with police urging the public to remain vigilant in the fight against the spread of the virus.
Local media said a 54-year-old male hairdresser, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, had been instructed to remain quarantined at home for two weeks, with additional reports saying he failed to do a final repeat test before being cleared to go back to work.
On Monday police received information in the form of a complaint that a man was in violation of health protocols, with officers going to his place of work in Strovolos, Nicosia, where they found him working, with a client and staff also present.
Police spokesperson Christos Andreou said officers were prepared to carry out their duty but also urged members of the public to comply with regulations to avoid citations and fines
Officers reportedly instructed the man to close shop and head home, while an investigation was launched into whether the hairstylist had violated health laws including quarantine guidelines.
Police did not specify whether the complaint was filed by a private citizen or someone else, such as a member of the epidemiological monitoring team, while it was reported that the man had failed to show up for a required repeat test last Saturday in accordance with health protocols before going back to work.
But according to daily Politis online, the hairstylist says he had remained in isolation for the full required 14-day period before testing negative for COVID-19 on Monday, adding that he did not believe he broke any laws.
Politis published a copy of a lab test, with personal details blacked out, showing a rapid test had been ordered Monday early afternoon, showing results reported as negative a few minutes later.
But police sources told Knews that officers suspected the man was violation of health laws as early as Monday morning when they visited his business establishment around 10am.
Prosecutors are expected to file a case in court.
Police spokesperson Christos Andreou said officers were prepared to carry out their duty but also urged members of the public to comply with regulations to avoid citations and fines.
But Andreou also clarified that people who report on violations are not snitches but concerned citizens who have a clear understanding of the situation.