Answers to frequently asked questions about pandemic prevention measures – 23/04/2021

The Ministry of Health has issued the following FAQs with regards to the announced measures in Greek Here, which we have unofficially translated below as translation is not yet available:

A. MOVEMENTS:

1. During what hours does the travel ban apply?

The travel ban is valid from 9 pm until 5 am the next day.

2. For what reasons is movement allowed during curfew hours (9 pm to 5 am the next day)?

The movement of persons during curfew hours is allowed for the following reasons:

·       for work purposes to and from the workplaces with the presentation of Form A, completed and signed by the employer and which certifies the need to travel during the above hours.

·       for urgent purposes, i.e. for going to a medical center or hospital or pharmacy or veterinarian for medical emergencies and for going to provide emergency care to people who are unable to self-care or who have to self-protect.

3. How many times per day will exceptional travel be allowed?

Exceptional travel will be permitted once per day by sending a text message to 8998 for the cases referred to in question 5. Persons over the age of 65 may use Form B for their exceptional travel.

It is clarified that for the purposes of going to and from work for work purposes the sending of SMS is not required, but the employee must present the Form A, signed by his employer.

4. How many categories for exceptional travel are there, by sending an SMS?

There are eight (8) categories for exceptional travel, by sending an SMS. Category 8 includes subcategories as shown in question 5 below.

5. In which cases is the exceptional movement allowed, by sending an SMS?

Exception for movement by sending SMS is allowed in the following cases:

–          Category 1: Visit to a doctor / medical center or to perform a laboratory test for COVID-19 (rapid test or PCR) or to go to a pharmacy.

–          Category 2: Purchase or supply of essential goods / services to and from companies / services, the operation of which has not been suspended, including take-away and drive-through from restaurants (until 8:30 pm) . It is understood that the purchase / supply of alcoholic beverages from restaurants is not allowed for take-away or drive-through either.

–          Category 3: Going to a bank, to the extent that electronic transaction is not possible

–          Category 4: Absolutely necessary visits to government services, services of the wider public sector and the Local Government, when the work can not be done electronically. This category also includes the movement of citizens to and from the Green Points adjacent to their permanent residence, which operate in various Municipalities / Communities.

–          Category 5: Providing assistance to relatives and / or fellow citizens who are unable to self-serve or belong to groups that have to self-protect or are in self-isolate and / or in places of mandatory confinement. Only on Easter Day, May 2, is movement allowed to move for going to a residence, provided that the house will be occupied, in addition to permanent residents, only by people from only two families and provided that the total number of people in the house does not exceed 10 persons, including minors.

–          Category 6: Physical exercise, provided that numbers do not exceed the two adults and minor children and are limited to the areas where access is allowed. Persons are also allowed to move to another Province, in addition to the one where they are permanently residing (first residence), for individual sea sports, provided that they do not exceed two people, except in the case of minor children accompanied by their parents. Movement is for a reasonable period of time and the persons must return to their permanent residence the same day, no later than 9 pm. Residents of Provinces in which they have access to the sea, cannot go to another Province for physical sports purposes.

–          Category 7: Going to a place of religious worship for the purposes of individual prayer or for ceremonies, such as funerals, weddings, baptisms (maximum number of people in ceremonies 10 people). Only for Holy Saturday (May 1), you are allowed to move to a place of religious worship for the purpose of participating in the evening at the Resurrection Liturgy

–          Category 8 (with the presentation of the necessary evidence that is valid for each case):

o   Movement of divorced or separated parents, which is necessary for seamless communication and contact between parents and children. Individuals must provide the Judicial Decree proving that they have a responsibility to care for their children on the specific days / hours of travel.

o   Specialized treatments for people with disabilities or people with chronic diseases, together with their companion.

o   Movement for transport of hoplite to and from the camp.

o   Movement to and from Larnaca and Paphos Airports for the transfer of persons, with the presentation of evidence (ticket) which proves the day and time of arrival / departure.

o   Movement of farmers and stockbreeders, provided that they submit the form of hectare and capital subsidy from KOAP or, in case it does not exist, a relevant certificate from the District Office of Agriculture.

o   Movement of persons to animal shelters for the care of animals, provided that they present a certificate certified by a recognized animal welfare organization, as well as a relevant proof of notification of their every movement to the Veterinary Services.

o   Travel to a cemetery.

o   Transfer to another privately owned property (e.g. holiday home, etc.) in the Province of permanent residence and / or in another Province outside the permanent residence, only for the period from April 29 to May 3.

o   All persons moving for any of the above reasons must bring with them an identity card or passport, for identification purposes in case of control by the Competent Authorities.

6. In which cases is exceptional travel allowed without sending an SMS?

Movement without sending SMS is allowed:

–          for movement of people with disabilities and people on the autism spectrum, along with their companion.

–          for the needs of a pet or for physical exercise, provided that it is limited to the area adjacent to the residence (within a radius of 500 m from their residence) and provided that they do not exceed two persons, excluding minor children accompanied by their parents .

–          for transporting minors to and from special education schools.

–          for employees, who continue to work with a physical presence in companies / industries that have not suspended their operation, and wish on the way to / from their workplace to go to establishments that remain in operation for the purchase of basic necessities or in the Green Points that operate in Municipalities / Communities for the disposal of objects.

–          for employees who continue to work in person and who wish to undergo rapid testing at testing centres, on the move or departure from their place of work or while at work.

–          For the purpose of going to a Vaccination Center for a scheduled appointment against COVID-19, provided that the confirmation message or the relevant form or the Vaccination Card is provided for the purpose of confirming the movement at that time.

–          For the purpose of going to a Blood Donation Center.

7. Is movement between Provinces allowed?

Yes, the movement between the Provinces is allowed provided that the purpose for which the movement takes place falls within the points of use of SMS which as a rule does not exceed three (3) hours with specific reasonable exceptions, such as movement for hunting and fishing, transport of hoplites to and from the airport, funerals, care for the elderly and persons not able to care for themselves in a Province other than permanent residence, or for agricultural and animal growing purposes.

 8. How many people can get in a private vehicle and how many passengers can the Mass Transportation vehicles carry?

Private vehicles can be driven by members of the same family (household), and include minor children of the family, depending on the capacity of the vehicle, without the use of a mask. In cases of transportation by vehicle of persons from different households, up to three (3) persons, including the driver, are allowed to ride in the vehicle with the necessary use of a mask. For travel purposes for work with a private vehicle with a capacity of more than five (5) people (eg construction workers, transporters, etc.), up to four (4) people are allowed to ride, with the necessary use of a mask. For work purposes and in case the private vehicle has a capacity of less than five (5) people, up to three (3) people are allowed to ride, with the necessary use of a mask.

The maximum number of people in Public Transport (buses, taxis, etc.) is determined by an announcement of the Ministry of Transport.

B. SOCIAL GATHERINGS:

9. Are social gatherings allowed in homes?

Social gatherings in homes are prohibited, except for those permanently residing in them. It is understood that it is forbidden to hold lunch / dinner in houses for weddings and baptisms.

 Exceptionally and only on Easter Sunday (May 2), in addition to the permanent residents, the presence in the homes of persons is allowed provided that they come from only two families and provided that the total number of people in the house does not exceed 10 persons, including and minors.

 At the same time, it is allowed to be present in houses for the purposes of:

–          custody of minors and people with disabilities for the period / duration where the physical presence of parents / guardians is necessary in their workplace (eg babysitters, babysitters, guardians, caregivers, etc.).

–          assistance to people who are unable to self-serve (medication, care of people, food supply, etc.). It is understood that such persons should take all measures of personal protection and remain only for a reasonable period of time required for the care of the individual, so as not to endanger him/her.

–          by professionals such as electricians, plumbers, domestic workers, gardeners, oil painters, etc., as well as health professionals (physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, community nurses, etc.), only for the reasonable amount of time required to complete their work.

10. Are gatherings allowed in public and private gathering places?

Access and social gatherings to public and private gathering places are prohibited, specifically to squares, parks, dams, excursions, marinas, beaches, sidewalks, etc.

Access is only allowed to parks, linear parks and beaches exclusively for physical exercise purposes.

C. SPORTS:

11. Are sports team and individual championships and competitions allowed?

It is allowed to hold the matches of the professional championships A ‘, B’ and C ‘Category, as well as the holding of matches / championships of individual sports, without the presence of spectators. It is understood that the use of locker rooms is allowed only on the day of the match.

All other tournaments, as well as sports activities for people under 18, are suspended.

2. Do indoor and outdoor sports facilities remain in operation?

All sports facilities, except for the training facilities of the teams of the professional championships A ‘, B’ and C ‘Category and the National Teams, as well as the dance schools and other related schools, remain closed.

Therefore, the use of sports facilities other than the teams mentioned above is not permitted. Personal training is allowed in open outdoor areas where access is allowed under the Decree with a maximum of two people.

13. What applies to swimming pools?

Swimming pools remain closed for physical sports purposes. The only cases where the use of swimming pools is allowed are for therapeutic purposes in the presence of a health professional (eg physiotherapist) for a reasonable period of time required to complete the treatment.

14. Are trainings allowed in sports facilities for team and / or individual sports?

Training in sports facilities is allowed only for athletes of professional championships A ‘, B’ and C ‘Category and National Teams, as well as athletes of individual professional sports, for purposes of preparation for participation in competitions / championships. It is understood that the use of locker rooms is prohibited.

It is understood that training is allowed in indoor and outdoor outdoor sports facilities for high performance athletes, who are included in the list of the Cyprus Sports Organization or who bid to qualify for the Olympic Games, without the use of locker rooms / gyms and any indoor sports and indoor sports facilities provded  that the participants in the training will not exceed five (5) people, including the coach / trainer.

15. In which cases is physical exercise / training allowed?

Physical exercise / training is allowed only in public outdoor areas that are allowed access under the decree. Specifically in parks, linear parks and beaches and meaning that the participants do not exceed two (2) people and the physical exercise / training is done within a reasonable time.

indicatively,

–          It is allowed for a karate athlete to train on the beach or in a park only with his coach.

–          It is allowed to train a person on a beach, park with or without equipment (eg TRX, step, fit ball, weights, etc.), provided that there are no more than two people, including the trainer.

–          swimming in the sea is allowed only during the hours when movement is allowed, provided that they do not exceed two people.

D. RELIGIOUS SERVICES:

16. Is the operation of holy temples / places of worship allowed?

The Divine Liturgy in the sacred temples / religious places of worship is performed without the presence of believers. It is clarified that the faithful can come to the religious places of worship for individual prayer (simultaneous physical presence of up to 10 people per religious space), provided that the observance of health protocols (distances, masks, maximum number of people) will be ensured.

It is clarified that the presence of believers is also prohibited in the courtyard of the temples / places of worship.

Exceptionally and only for the Resurrection Mass evening on Holy Saturday (May 1), the presence of believers in the courtyard of the holy temples is allowed, in compliance with the distance measure and the sanitary protocol that applies to the operation of the churches and provided that arrangements will be made for the faithful to attend seated. Inside the temples only for the Resurrection Liturgy in the evening on Holy Saturday, the presence of up to 50 people is allowed, according to the protocol. On all other days of Holy Week, the presence of believers in places of religious worship, either indoors or outdoors, is prohibited.

7. Are religious ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms and funerals allowed?

Religious ceremonies (weddings, baptisms and funerals) are performed with a maximum of 10 people, including the couple. It is understood that the 10 people do not include priests and other church staff.

In cases of funeral, the maximum number of 10 people concerns both the religious ceremony and the burial.

In case of individual prayer, the measures should be observed and should not exceed 10 people inside the religious place of worship.

E. BUSINESSES / SERVICES:

18. How will private service companies operate?

Private service companies (eg law firms, accounting firms, insurance companies, service companies, etc.), with the exception of the essential services set out in the Decree, work remotely. The physical presence of employees is allowed within the professional premises provided it does not exceed 20% of the total number of staff with a minimum presence of three (3) persons and a maximum of 25 persons.

It is understood that if a company operates in more than one building, the physical presence of employees that does not exceed 20% of each premise is allowed, with a minimum presence of three (3) people and a maximum of 25 people.

For companies that are co-located in the same building, the physical presence of employees is allowed, as long as it does not exceed 20% of each legal entity (ie each company), with a minimum presence of three (3) people and a maximum of 25 people and provided that health protocols are observed. .

The rest of the staff work through teleworking at home. It is understood that the number is rounded up.

For example,

– in a company with 10 people, up to 3 people can work with a physical presence, if the employer so wishes.

– in a company with 50 employees, up to 10 people can work with a physical presence.

– in a company with 200 employees, the maximum number of persons who can work simultaneously with a physical presence may not exceed 25 persons.

19. Do the offices of industries, construction and similar companies fall under the above regulation?

Yes, the offices of industries, construction and similar companies fall under the above regulation. For example, in the accounting of a construction company the physical presence of employees that does not exceed 20% of the total number of staff with a minimum presence of three (3) people and a maximum of 25 people is allowed. For example, in an architectural office the physical presence of employees is allowed if it does not exceed 20% of the total number of staff with a minimum presence of three (3) people and a maximum of 25 people. It is understood that workers, such as architects and civil engineers, can perform external work, such as site inspections or under construction of buildings, etc.

20. Do the stores of similar companies in the construction sector remain open for customer service?

No, such companies are not allowed to serve the general public in similar services to the construction sector, such as stores selling sanitary ware, etc. It is understood that these stores continue to serve professionals in the construction sector (eg plumbers, electricians, builders, etc.).

21. Is the operation of retail businesses allowed?

The operation of retail businesses for the service of the public with a physical presence at the premises is prohibited. It is understood that these companies can sell products through e-commerce (online) and place telephone orders with home shipping / delivery.

Certain categories of retail businesses (eg service stations, medical equipment and medical supplies companies, laundries, nurseries and florists, etc.) may be able to serve in person. A detailed list of companies will be included in the Decree.

22. Which companies / sites / industries are suspending their operation?

The operation of the following companies is suspended:

–          Barbers and hairdressers,

–          Beauty institutes,

–          Tattoo centers,

–          Theaters, cinemas, auditoriums, outdoor and open-air amphitheaters,

–          Dining areas *,

–          Nightclubs

–          Shopping malls, department stores **,

–          Playgrounds,

–          Theme parks, amusement parks, go-kart tracks, paintball tracks,

–          Archaeological sites, museums, historical sites,

–          Zoos and natural habitats,

–          Betting and gambling agencies,

–          Casino,

–          Amateur driving schools, driving school schools, professional-drivers driving school schools (Professional Competence Certification Schools / Centers), Vocational Training Schools for Transporters and Vocational Training Schools for drivers of dangerous goods vehicles,

–          Car Dealerships ***,

–          Gyms, dance schools, other related schools.

* It is understood that restaurants can only offer home delivery services at delivery times set by the companies themselves and take-away and drive-through until 9 pm. Take-away and drive-through for the purchase of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

** It is understood that retail stores within malls may sell e-commerce products with home shipping / delivery.

*** It is understood that in the case of car dealerships, only the operation of repair shops (service) is allowed. At the same time, car repair shops and other related companies remain in operation, as well as companies providing roadside vehicle technical inspection (MOT) services.

23. Which companies do not suspend their operation?

The companies that remain in operation, in compliance with the relevant health instructions and protocols, are defined in the relevant list to be issued by the Ministry of Labor.

24. What applies to the operation of construction sites and other related companies?

Construction sites and other companies with related activities continue to operate in compliance with health protocols. A relevant list of companies that remain in operation will be issued by the Ministry of Labor.

25. What about the operation of beverage and food retail businesses and popular markets?

The operation of retail trade of beverages and food is allowed, such as supermarkets, mini-markets, fruit shops, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, grocery stores.

It is clarified that the sale of retail items (eg clothes, shoes, cosmetics, electrical appliances, linen, toys, coke) to the above beverage and food retail companies is prohibited.

Pharmacies, supermarkets, mini-markets, fruit shops, butchers, fishmongers and grocery stores, from the time of their opening until 9 am, serve only people over 65 and people with disabilities.

The public markets operate to the extent of 50% of their full capacity. It is noted that the sale of food is allowed (eg mobile canteens, sandwiches, ice cream, vegetables, fruits, etc.), provided that they have a valid license from the relevant Municipal or Community Council and provided that the service is done only by take-away, drive -through or delivery and not at table seats. It is forbidden to operate public markets that sell clothes, linen and / or other products, as well as their street vending.

Supply Chain  companies remain in operation.

26. Do hotels and other tourist accommodation remain open?

The hotels / tourist accommodation operate exclusively for the accommodation of persons who do not have their permanent residence in Cyprus and fall under the provisions of the Decree. Reservations are not allowed for persons residing permanently in the Republic of Cyprus.

It is understood that the dining areas inside the hotels and tourist accommodation remain open:

–          only for the service of the persons who are hosted in their premises,

–          six (6) people per table,

–          observing the measure of one person per 3 sq.m. indoors and one person per 2 sq.m. outdoors.

27. How will the public and wider public sector work?

The public and wider public sector work remotely and with a physical presence of staff at work that does not exceed 20% of the number of employees. The released staff remains at home in order to work with the teleworking method. Excluded from the above regulation are the services defined as essential services and other services, as defined in the Decree.

28. Are conferences, exhibitions, assemblies, press conferences, examinations allowed?

Conferences, assemblies, exhibitions and press conferences are suspended. It is understood that they can be performed online.

It is allowed to conduct examinations and / or meetings of State Authorities and / or meetings of Authorities and / or Services and / or Bodies and / or Bodies, in places for which approval is given by the Ministry of Health.

F. HOSPITALS / MEDICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC CENTERS / NURSING HOMES / REHABILITATION CENTERS / OTHER CLOSED STRUCTURES:

29. How will the hospitals work? Will doctor visits be allowed? Will surgeries be performed?

Both public and private hospitals continue to operate with a ceiling that determines their maximum occupancy rate at 70% of beds, including ICU beds, according to instructions issued by the Ministry of Health.

Patient visits to doctors and / or medical and diagnostic centers are allowed, without the presence of an attendant. It is understood that in cases of minors, the accompaniment of one of the two parents / guardians is allowed, while in cases where the patient can not self-serve and move alone, he/she can be accompanied by an additional person.

The surgeries will be performed in accordance with the upper ceiling and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

30. Will Dental Clinics continue their operation?

Dental Clinics remain in operation for the treatment of emergencies only and only after an appointment. It is understood that the patient is accompanied by only one person only if he / she is a minor or a person who can not serve himself / herself.

31. Do health professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, home care nurses, etc., continue to work?

Yes, health professionals, and in particular physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and home care nurses, continue to provide services as long as they follow health protocols.

32. What applies to nursing homes and other structures?

Visits to residents of nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, other institutions for the elderly and other closed structures are allowed, after consultation with the management of the premises and for a reasonable period of time.

G. EDUCATION:

33. What applies to nurseries and nurseries, daycare centers, kindergartens and pre-primary and special education?

Nurseries, nurseries, kindergartens and pre-kindergartens in the private or public sector are suspended. The special education schools operate according to the instructions issued by the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance.

34. What applies to the operation of tuition centers, private training centers and how will the private afternoon classes be taught?

Tutoring and private training centers remain closed and education is provided online via e-learning / distance learning. It is understood that teaching is allowed with the physical presence of up to two people including the instructor (1 + 1).

The measure for conducting online courses is applied indicatively in cases such as: music lessons (musical instruments, vocals, choir, etc.), painting, art, gymnastics, dance, theater, foreign languages, remedial teaching of school lessons (mathematics, chemistry, physics, history) , etc).

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