Another seven people have tested positive for coronavirus the Health Ministry said on Friday, with numbers remaining in single digits three days before the easing of the lockdown. It said the seven new cases of coronavirus, the same number as reported yesterday, were detected after a total of 2427 diagnostic tests. This brings the total number to 857 (including 10 in the British Bases).
Lifting restrictive measures cannot be done abruptly as Cyprus must not risk what has already been achieved, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Friday. In a post on his Twitter account, he outlined the necessity of ensuring the gradual lifting of the lockdown measures and the responsibility of the public. “Lifting the restrictions cannot be done abruptly so as not to risk what we have achieved. We invest in the responsibility and understanding of citizens,” Ioannou said.
Interior Minister Nicos Nouris has published a photo showing people socialising on a coastal promenade with a clear message that this is not what we should be doing. The first stage of a gradual relaxation of the lockdown starts on Monday with the public, retail and construction sector going back to work, with some exceptions. The public will also be allowed to leave the house three times, after first securing permission — up from the current one. The curfew will also start an hour later, at 10 pm.
The aviation sector in Cyprus must be supported, Executive Director of the Flight Safety Foundation- Mediterranean (FSF-MED) Christos Petrou has told CNA, urging the relevant authorities to examine the possibility of establishing a new national airline, even with state participation but not based on unsuccessful past models. In particular, referring to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on aviation worldwide, Petrou said that it is the sector which had to bear the brunt of “immediate and serious consequences of the pandemic.” Air-traffic in March and April has dropped by over 90% compared to 2019, he added. As a result, all aviation related businesses, airlines, airports, security services, fuel suppliers, ground services and others, he said, have suffered hundreds of millions or even billions of euros in losses. Approximately 18,000 airplanes have been grounded and hundreds of jobs have already been lost, while the situation is expected to deteriorate not just this year but also in 2021, he noted, adding that already some airlines have shut down or are in the brink of bankruptcy.According to Petrou it is now evident and acknowledged by everyone that airline survival, small and large, will depend on the support they are offered by governments.The current and future situation, inevitably affects Cyprus to a greater extent because as an island whose economy depends largely on tourism, and without having a local air carrier to meet its needs, particularly in times of crisis, its connectivity depends from the decisions of foreign airlines mainly low cost ones, he pointed out. Petrou added that “it is not certain if airlines who traditionally transported the greatest number of tourists to Cyprus will survive and whether Cyprus will be included in their new flight plans.”