A summary of the key points of the President of the Republic’s speech is shared below:
In yesterday’s Ministerial Meeting and taking into account the recommendations of both the medical team, the European Commission and the World Health Organization the first two phases of the gradual relaxation of measures were agreed:
- ECONOMIC SECTOR
- From May 4th, all limits on the construction sector and supporting services are lifted.
- All retail businesses reopen, except for malls and department stores. It is understood that the operation of the stores will be governed by safety and health protocols as determined by the competent Ministries of Health and Labor.
- The open markets, bazaars and mobile sales enterprises reopen, always under the conditions that will be included in the relevant instructions of the Minister of Health.
- Tourist and travel agencies reopen.
- PUBLIC SECTOR
- As of May 4th , full operation of the Public and wider Public Sector, with the return of all employees to their jobs. The hours of attendance will be determined by the relevant Ministers. Excluded are those who fall into vulnerable groups as defined in the new revised list published by the Ministry of Health.
- Employees responsible for the care of children up to 15 years of age will be entitled to special leave until the reopening of public and private schools.
- It is implied, that during their absence they are required to undertake whatever tasks are assigned to them through teleworking.
- The same method will be applied to employees belonging to the vulnerable groups and will not return to their workplace.
- With the return of Public Sector Employees, the operation of courts is now feasible always in accordance with decisions as taken by the Supreme Court.
- EDUCATION SECTOR
By prioritizing the need for adequate preparation for graduates of public and private secondary schools, it was decided that they return to their school units from May 11th .
The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth will make relevant announcements, as well as reports on all other levels of education. It is understood that until the full reopening of the school units, the education through teleconferencing will continue.
- HEALTH SECTOR
- As part of the normalization of the operation of public and private hospitals, the restrictions will be partially lifted on May 4 and will be further lifted later, as per the instructions of the Ministry of Health. The dental centers will be fully reopened.
- PERSONAL LIBERTIES
With regard to personal liberties and the existing restrictions, the following measures have been decided:
- The number of permitted movements within a day by sending SMS increase to three (3). Ban on movement remains in place from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.
- As of May 4th , the exercise of religion will be permitted in churches, mosques and other places of worship, provided that there are no more than 10 persons present. The decree on weddings, christenings and funerals remains in force.
- As of June 1st , church services and other forms of religious worship in churches, mosques and other places of worship are permitted, provided that protocols on hygiene, as determined by the Ministry of Health, are strictly adhered to. The same measures are valid for weddings, christenings, and funerals
- Personal exercise is permitted (jogging, swimming in the sea, bicycling etc.) outdoors, walkways in parks, in groups of not more than two persons. Underage children are not included in the above number.
- Parks, playgrounds and other open spaces, will remain closed.
As of May 4th , the use of open space athletic installations will be open to high performance athletes who are included in the records of the Cyprus Olympic Committee.
Training of team sports will be permitted as from May 18th in open spaces and in accordance with the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health. It is noted that in both cases, personal and team sports, the use of changing rooms, gyms or any other indoor installations is prohibited.
The decisions regarding measures of the present phase or the second phase will depend entirely on the epidemiological indicators and the recommendations of the scientific team.
Subject to the above, the measures decided for the second phase include the following:
- As of May 21st all restrictions of the movement of citizens are lifted.
- Visit to parks, open space playgrounds, squares, marinas etc. will be permitted, provided no more than 10 persons are gathered at any time.
- Catering business will resume operation only in outer space and in strict adherence to the protocols of the Ministries of Labour and Health.
- Hairdressing salons, barber shops and beauty centres will resume operation as of May 21st .
- As of June 1st :
(i) Operation and access to organised beaches will be permitted.
(ii) Ports will begin full operation, excluding the disembarkation of passengers from cruise ship.
(iii) Public libraries, museums, archaeological, and historical sites will reopen.
(iv) Betting shops will resume business.
Resumption of the above businesses and other activities will be adjusted in strict accordance with the terms and conditions specified by the Ministries of Health and Labour.
In addition, the Government’s plan of action is being implemented for the gradual repatriation of students and other Cypriot citizens who were stranded overseas as a result of the measures taken.
The full speech in English can be accessed HERE