Despite indications that the rampant spread of the virus has been contained, Cyprus remains in the red zone, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said Thursday.
Ioannou said he was briefed by the government’s coronavirus advisory committee, who noted the island’s improved epidemiological situation, but stressed that the island remains in a high-risk situation.
The healthcare system remains under immense pressure, Ioannou said, adding that ICUs are in a particularly difficult situation.
The Health Minister said that if epidemiological indices maintain their current course, “we will be able to look forward to the gradual relaxation of the restriction measures that expire on January 31, 2021.”
Ioannou said a technical committee comprising officers from the Health, Finance, Labour, Education and Commerce Ministries will look into the suggestions of the advisory committee, in view of shaping a relaxation strategy that would pose as few risks as possible.
On January 10, the Republic entered a three-week lockdown, in many ways similar to the one imposed back in March, with people having to request government permission to travel up to two times a day for legitimate reasons, such as going to the store or visiting people in need of assistance.
Record high police bookings for restrictions violations
As the government and its advisory group of experts scramble to find the right strategy for the gradual lifting of restrictions, police on Thursday announced they booked a record number of violators on Wednesday.
Specifically, police reported 146 people and three shops for being in violation of the measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Police on Wednesday carried out 10,668 inspections islandwide.
48 people and one shop were booked in Limassol, 34 people and one shop in Nicosia, 27 people and one shop in Paphos, 14 people in Larnaca, 18 in Famagusta, and four people in Morphou. One driver was also booked by traffic police monitoring highways.