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Update – 04/06/2020

  • No new coronavirus cases were reported in Cyprus on Thursday after 1996 tests, in what Health Ministry experts described as “a brilliant result” at their last regular press conference. The total number of cases in Cyprus remains 958. This is the third time that Cyprus has recorded zero cases since the start of the outbreak on March 9. The other two times were on May 23 and May 27. Leondios Kostrikis, who with Marios Loizou, have been giving televised press conferences on behalf of the epidemiological team advising the government on the coronavirus since the outbreak started three months ago, said the experts were “very satisfied” with the outcome. “We should all as a society justifiably feel proud,” he said. Kostrikis said that he wanted, on behalf of the team to thank the President of the Republic, the Health Minister and other members of the government for their trust and support. He also congratulated all the scientists and others working on the front line. “We made and continue to make every effort for the common good,” he said as he thanked the public for their part. “I hope we do not have to meet again under conditions similar to those that we have experienced,” he noted. “We continue the effort to completely deal with the virus and we are certain we will succeed,” he concluded.
  • Cyprus is among the countries considered to be safe destinations for German citizens, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, during a telephone conversation with President Nicos Anastasiades, whom she congratulated for Cyprus’ positive results during the pandemic. According to a written statement by Deputy Government Spokesman, Panayiotis Sentonas, President Anastasiades also informed the Chancellor about Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the broader region.
  • Arrivals from the UK could be permitted in the next few weeks, even if travellers might need to present evidence of a negative coronavirus PCR test or be submitted to one upon arrival, deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios told Sky News on Thursday, the Cyprus News Agency reports. Cyprus’ airports reopen in two stages on June 9 and June 20 with a current list of 19 ‘source countries’, divided into two groups. The UK is not currently in either group on the list, effectively closing off Cyprus’ biggest tourism market. Perdios told Sky News that the decision to exclude the UK as a source country of origin of flights permitted to Cyprus is purely one based on epidemiological and scientific data.
  • Cyprus has been successful so far in controlling COVID-19 but needs to remain so Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has told Politico. “We are successful so far, but we need to stay successful. We need to be vigilant, not complacent and make sure that when we open our borders, we are still a safe destination” Ioannou said. Cyprus’s airports will open in two phases on June 9 and 20. Asked how Cyprus had so few cases and deaths, Ioannou replied that the government drew up a strategic plan on how to manage the pandemic through public hospitals by increasing capacity, and especially ICU units. “We paid special attention to comprehensive testing and surveillance mechanism strategies, especially contact tracing. We tested nearly 12 percent of the population. And we planned ahead — we started sourcing equipment as early as February”. There was never a period when Cyprus’ hospitals were overwhelmed, he said when asked.
  • The number of registered unemployed persons on the last day of May 2020 was up an annual 68.1%, attributed mainly to the hospitality sector, according to figures released by the Cyprus statistical service. But it noted that comparison of the data since March 2020 and onward with that of previous months is not considered objective due to the implementation by the Public Employment Service of the extraordinary measures announced by the Ministry of Labour,  for automatic renewals of registered unemployed and new registrations of unemployed people without their physical presence in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus. It said the total number of registered unemployed stood at 29,604 persons. Based on the seasonally adjusted data that show the trend of unemployment, the number was 34,082 persons in comparison to 32,000 in the previous month. In comparison with May 2019, an increase of 11,997 persons or 68,1% was recorded, attributed mainly to the sectors of accommodation and food service activities (an increase of 7,185), trade (an increase of 1,504), transportation and storage (an increase of 757), administrative and support service activities (an increase of 615), professional, scientific and technical activities (an increase of 442) and arts, entertainment and recreation (an increase of 349).
  • Police booked two premises in Nicosia over Wednesday night for violating measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus as a total of 319 were inspected over a 12-hour period. From 6pm on Wednesday until 6am on Thursday 48 checks were carried out in Nicosia, 23 in Limassol, 168 in Larnaca, 42 in Paphos and 38 in the Famagusta district. No inspections were made in the Morphou district.
  • A bill hiking in-court penalties more than 15-fold for businesses that violate Covid-19 restrictions is due to go to the plenum on Friday, the justice minister said. The bill provides for a fine of up to €50,000 and/or one year in jail. Prior, the penalty had a maximum six-month prison sentence and/or a fine of up to €3,000. On top, a second new bill provides for staggered out-of-court fines for businesses owners or managers that do not comply. They will also see a steep increase in the fine, which is now €300 but will be increased to €2,000 for first time violations, €4,000 for a second violation and €8,000 for a third.
  • There can be a maximum of three children per 10 square metres in classrooms when kindergartens reopen on June 9 and children must bring their own food and drink, the Health Ministry has clarified. The spacing rule is among the requirements set out in the health and safety protocol for the operation of nurseries and kindergartens that have been published by the ministry aiming to protect children and their families and employees from the spread of coronavirus. The ministry said that the hygiene protocol for primary schools applies, but with adaptations that take into consideration issues such as the age of the children and the size of classes at nurseries.

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