Five new coronavirus cases were announced by the health ministry on Monday, bringing the total to 949. Virologist Leontios Kostrikkis said three of the cases emerged from 160 tests on repatriated individuals. One new case came from 104 tests processed by state hospital laboratories, while one more emerged from 616 tests processed on beauticians, hairstylists, and aestheticians. A total of 1,504 tests were processed on Monday, including four from retail and construction workers, 333 from schools, 43 from contact tracing, 85 from vulnerable groups and 159 conducted on private initiative. “With the announcement of today’s numbers, no drastic change in the epidemiological picture arises. The numbers are satisfying enough, and the Epidemiological Committee is happy with the situation among the population,” Kostrikkis said. He called on the public to follow the hygiene protocols and be careful.
Larnaca and Paphos Airports are ready to reopen on June 9, and several airline companies have already notified authorities that they will be scheduling flights, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Monday without elaborating. The airports will open in two phases, June 9 and June 20. During phase one, all arrivals will required a certificate that they have tested negative for coronavirus. In phase two, arrivals from group A (13 of the 19 countries on the initial list) will not require a certificate. Arrivals from the other six will. Travel from countries not featured in either category, is allowed only in exceptional circumstances and after receiving prior approval by the Cyprus government. This will also be the case for transit travel via these countries. Karousos said Cypriots and permanent residents will have the option to carry out the lab test on arrival in Cyprus, and cover the cost themselves. They must remain in self-isolation until the result is out. In phase two, group A countries will not need a certificate but will have to complete a questionnaire. Group B will require a certificate. Cypriots, permanent residents and individuals with special permission can do the test on arrival here. Asked whether the current list of 19 countries is to be expanded, the minister said that the Health Ministry was categorising countries and more are expected to be added in the next few days.
The Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health Issues held a video-conference on Monday to exchange views on the COVID-19 situation on the island and the possible reopening of crosspoints which closed after the pandemic. “No decision was taken today, we exchanged views, we were briefed on the situation in each side, the epidemiological data, the hospitalization of patients, the medication given, the tests etc,” Leonidas Fylaktou, co-chair of the Committee told the Cyprus News Agency. Five members of the Scientific Advisory Committee took part in the videoconference and they presented the scientific figures in Cyprus Republic. They also asked questions on the situation in the occupied areas and wanted to know why the cases were low, Fylaktou said. He said that the Turkish Cypriot members of the Committee said that this is because of the early and strict measures taken. Today’s meeting was held after an agreement between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to exchange views on the gradual opening of crossing points, according to the epidemiological situation on the island. Fylaktou pointed out that the decision is of course political and that today the members exchanged views without getting into specific details. He also said that a second videoconference will take place soon, but no date was set. Moreover he said that the Turkish Cypriot members of the Technical Committee were given a copy of the latest National Surveillance Report published last Thursday, by the Health Ministry. Petros Karayiannis of the Scientific Committee told the CNA that the discussion today was productive and the Committee wanted to know more on the epidemiological situation in the occupied areas. He said that specific questions were asked and that the discussion will continue. The Republic of Cyprus’ Cabinet had decided on February 28 to suspend the operation of four crossing points (Ledras Street, Astromeritis, Lefka and Dherynia), as a precaution against COVID-19 continuing however to allow crossing in another five crossing points taking all necessary precautions.
Three restaurants were booked after police carried out 642 checks from 6 pm on Sunday to 6 am on Monday at various businesses to monitor compliance with decrees to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The three restaurants, two in Larnaca and one in the Famagusta area, were booked for failing to keep a distance among clients. Police said they had checked 146 premises in Nicosia, 72 in Limassol, 150 in Larnaca, 125 in Paphos, 83 in Famagusta and 66 in Morphou. In addition, health inspectors carrying out parallel checks reported four restaurants — two in Nicosia and two in Limassol after carrying out 369 checks from Friday to Sunday.