The Health Minister on Thursday gave a detailed overview of the four phases of Cyprus’ lockdown exit roadmap, which will be subject to adjustments based on how well the island responds to the gradual easing of restrictions.
President Nicos Anastasiades warned that the exit strategy drawn up is tentative, and will heavily depend on epidemiological data that arises after each step.
Phase one: May 4-May 20
For the most part, details of the first phase of the gradual easing of restrictions were announced by President Nicos Anastasiades during his televised national address on Wednesday night.
The construction and retail sectors are set to resume, as are outdoor markets and bazaars.
Regarding individual freedoms, the curfew will be shifted one hour forward to 10pm, and will remain valid until 6am, while the public will allowed three movements per day, up from one, for legitimate reasons. The SMS system will remain in place.
The public, barring minors, will also have more freedom as regards personal exercise, as walkways, and walkways in parks, will become accessible. A swim at the sea will also be permitted.
Praying at places of worship and other religious sites, given that those gathered do not exceed 10 people, will also be allowed.
Cruise ships will be allowed to dock for refuelling, though passengers won’t be disembarking, nor will crews be replaced.
Graduating classes of public and private schools will be returning behind school desks on May 11. Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said health and safety protocols will be imposed, while classes will be conducted in groups of 12. Remaining levels of education will continue their academic year through e-learning until the full resumption of schools.
Planned surgeries postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak will resume, while dental centres and outpatient clinics will reopen their doors to patients.
Outdoor sports facilities will be accessible for high-level athletes included in the list of the Cyprus Olympic Committee and team sports, but use of locker rooms, gyms or other indoor facilities will remain prohibited.
The full breadth of the public sector will resume operation.
Additionally, the Health Minister announced on Thursday that car washes, and tourist and travel agencies are also set reopen to the public.
The first phase will also see a revision of guidelines for public transport use, whereby they will only be allowed to fill up to 50% capacity.
Phase two: 21 May-8 June
The second phase of the gradual loosening of restrictions will see restrictions on movement and curfew times fully scrapped, while gatherings will be permitted in groups of up to 10 people.
Parks, playareas in outdoor spaces, squares, marinas, etc, will reopen for the public, but again subject to the 10 people rule.
On May 21, hair salons, barber shops, and beauty salons resume operations.
On June 1, church services and other forms of worship at religious sites will be allowed to take place.
Following suit on June 21 will be libraries, museums, archaeological and historical sites.
Betting agencies will also reopen their doors on June 21.
The same date will also see the full resumption of the operation of ports, though passengers will still not be allowed to disembark from cruise ships.
Phase three: 9 June-13 July
The third phase of the island’s exit roadmap will see airports and airlines resuming operations in stages and in a controlled manner.
Ports will fully resume their full breadth of services, including disembarkation from cruise ships.
Shopping malls, department stores, hotels, and gyms will reopen doors.
Additionally, open-air cinemas and theatres will resume operation.
Organized beaches will offer services, but will need to follow social distancing guidelines.
Sports leagues will restart without the presence of fans.
Educational programmes offered over the summer by private higher education schools will be allowed to take place.
Phase four: July 14 onwards
All indoor theatres and cinemas will reopen doors, while festivals and concerts will be permitted to take place.
Casinos will also be resuming operation.
Indoor children’s playareas will become accessible.
The Health Minister said that a cap on the number of people allowed to gather in mass gatherings will be set at a later stage.