COVID 19 – Decisions of the Council of Ministers to Stop the COVID-19 pandemic – Minister of Health Announcement, 09/12/2020

Below is a summary of the latest measures announced just now by the Minister of Health Mr. Constantinos Ioannou. The full text of his speech in Greek can be found Here.

As translated unofficially, the Minister’s comments start as follows:

“As you all know, epidemiological indicators have been deteriorating in recent days, the worst since the pandemic broke out. The cases are increasing and many of our fellow humans need hospitalization. Unfortunately some of them lost the battle for life. There is relative stabilization in hospitalizations, but we cannot be complacent. We are concerned about the continuing increase in “positivity” recorded by rapid antigen diagnostic tests throughout Cyprus. This result shows that the virus is everywhere, in all cities, villages, provinces. We want to suppress its further dispersion before it is too late. Therefore, in the next period our effort will be extended to enclosed areas of increased contact in confined spaces, with a high degree of risk.”

Taking into account the above, based on the suggestions of the experts, the Council of Ministers decided to extend the validity of the existing measures and to strengthen them with the following additional measures, which will take effect the day after tomorrowFriday, December 11, at 6 am:

  1. The operation of closed commercial centers  (malls) is suspended. Hyperstores, department stores and large stores over 500 sq.m. (excluding food retail, i.e. Hyper/supermarkets) will operate in compliance with the measure of 1 person to 10 sq.m. and with a ceiling on the number of customers.
  1. The operation of dining businesses is suspended. The measure concerns restaurants, taverns, cafes, pubs, snack bars and bars, cafes and restaurants within canteens and / or sports clubs, cultural clubs, clubs, associations, etc., with the exception of their services related to home-delivery and take-away. It is noted that after 9 pm only home delivery is allowed.

Catering facilities within hotels and tourist accommodation may be open until 9 pm only to accommodate overnight stays at these hotels / tourist accommodation. The operation of the dining areas at Paphos and Larnaca Airport is allowed.

  1. Ecclesiastical and other forms of religious worship in religious places will be performed without the presence of religious followers. In Religious ceremonies (weddings, baptisms, funerals), a maximum of 10 people is allowed.
  1. From next Monday, December 14, the attendance in public and private Lyceums, the Higher and Highest Education Institutions will be done through  Distance-Learning. Kindergartens, Primary Schools and Gymnasiums continue to operate normally. At the same time, in addition to the suspension of sports and social activities for people under 18 which remains, the operation of the tutoring centers is suspended.

The above measures take effect from Friday, December 11 at 6 am. Based on the planning done, they will remain in place until midnight on December 31st. Until then, the situation will be re-evaluated in order to review the measures, provided that the epidemiological picture allows it.

As per Minister’s comments:

The above measures concern indoor areas where numerous gatherings and intense synchronicity (explanation – close contact in same location)  are observed, i.e. where the virus is more easily spread. With these measures we try to prevent the deterioration of the situation now that we have the opportunity, before the epidemiological picture becomes irreversible. Decisions on measures are made on the basis of constantly evolving data.”