No new cases were reported in Cyprus on Tuesday after a total of 422 tests, the Health Ministry has announced. This means that the total number of cases remains at 970. This is the fifth time that Cyprus has recorded zero cases since the start of the outbreak on March 9. The other four times were on May 23, May 27, June 4 and June 6. The result comes as Cyprus opened its airports and malls as part of stage three of the easing of restrictions.
Police have cautioned managers of catering establishments that they must fully comply with Health Ministry decrees aiming at the preventing the spread of coronavirus. The announcement came as Famagusta district court granted a police request and temporarily suspended the operation of a venue in Protaras which was reported five times for breaking the decree and four times for operating without a licence over the long weekend. In a written statement, police said they had carried out 1934 checks of premises over the long weekend and booked 32 violations. They also listed the types of catering establishments which are permitted to operate under the special guidelines issued by the Health Ministry (restaurants, hotels and tourist accommodation, taverns, cafeterias, pizza parlours, pubs, snack bars, bars, coffee shops and canteens of sports and other associations).
Airports at Larnaca and Paphos reopened today, June 9, as part of the third phase of relaxation of measures taken due to the coronavirus pandemic. The airports have been closed since 21st March in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The approved action plan prepared by the Inter-ministerial Committee for the gradual lifting of restriction measures to flights from and to the Airports of Larnaca and Paphos, and the reopening of Airports and Hotels provides for the reopening of airports and the reconnection of Cyprus with other countries in two phases, Phase A – 9 to 19 June and Phase B – 20 June 2020. The team of special scientists has classified countries on the basis of their epidemiological image in two categories, with which the connection of Cyprus by air is resumed.
In Phase A, those coming from countries of both categories must present a laboratory test certificate from an approved laboratory showing a negative result in order to be allowed to board their flight, with the test having taken place 72 hours prior to departure. Cypriot citizens and permanent residents of Cyprus may alternatively undergo the laboratory testing at their arrival in Cyprus. In this case and until the announcement of the result, they shall remain in self-isolation at home. CNA reports that there will be five arrivals and five departures from Larnaca Airport. Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Yiannis Karousos was present at the airport to welcome the first passengers who arrived in Larnaca following the airport’s opening. The first commercial flights due at Paphos airport are expected on June 21, although it may be sooner, according to staff.
In Phase B, which begins on 20 June, passengers coming from countries included in category A will not be required to bring a laboratory test certificate. For passengers coming from countries included in category B shall apply the same requirement as for all passengers in the first phase, that is, they have to present a laboratory test certificate from an approved laboratory showing a negative result in order to be allowed to board their flight, with the test having taken place 72 hours prior to departure. Cypriot citizens and permanent residents of Cyprus may alternatively undergo the laboratory testing at their arrival in Cyprus. In this case and until the announcement of the result, they shall remain in self-isolation at home.
Today marks the resumption of flights at the airports and cruise services at the island’s ports, but Limassol port master Panayiotis Agathocleous does not expect cruise visits to resume before the end of the year or early 2021. Speaking to CNA on the occasion of stage three of the relaxation of the lockdown which includes service for cruise ships, Agathocleous said that the cruise sector has suspended operations because of the pandemic and these are not expected to restart soon. “Unfortunately cruises are very different from flights as they require a lot of preparation. It is also the question of itineraries and we are talking of a journey of 10 to 15 days that stops at different countries,” he said. “It is also a question of the psychology of a passengers to board to travel with other people in a closed space for so many days,” he added. Cruises are expected to be late in resuming he added, while expressing the hope that Cyprus ports may see cruise ships around the end of the year, otherwise in 2021. Of the 72 cruise ship arrivals that were expected in 2020, some 55 which were scheduled for October-November have been cancelled.
A small group of Turkish Cypriots who work in the government controlled areas have crossed from the checkpoints in Ayios Dhometios and Pergamos for the fist time after nearly three months, CNA reports. It said so far eight have crossed by car, six work in the government controlled areas and two have come for medical treatment. They have brought cushions, cooking ware and other personal items as they will not be able to return to the occupied areas before July 1 unless they do 14 day quarantine there. Citing reports from the occupied areas, CNA said some will be sleeping in their cars and others in housing arranged by their employers. Acting in line with a mutual understanding between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for the partial opening of the checkpoints for specific groups of people, the Republic of Cyprus yesterday made checkpoints operational