Another five people have tested positive for coronavirus after 1289 tests, bringing the total to 980 the Health Ministry said on Friday. All five have some kind of travel history or connection. Three are from tracing of already confirmed cases (from 39 tests). Two are contacts of positive cases from flights. The third is a contact of a person with a travel history. The fourth is from repatriations (from 279 tests). The individual’s close contacts have been traced and the relevant protocols have been activated. The fifth is from referrals from personal doctors and special groups through public health offices. The person had returned from abroad, tested negative but developed symptoms while self-isolating at home and was referred for a test by the personal doctor. Sources said one of the three cases from tracing is a contact from the family environment of a positive case who returned from the UK on June 7 and was on the same flight. The second from tracing is contact of a case who had had also returned from the UK on June 8 and had travelled on the same flight. The two people are not friends or related. The third tracing case is a contact from the environment of a person who tested positive yesterday, and had returned from the UK in early May. The positive case among repatriations had come from Doha yesterday. The fifth case had arrived from the UK in early June and had first tested negative before developing symptoms, a case similar to one reported a few days ago which underlines how important it is that those repatriating as well as contacts of positive cases self-isolate, Health Ministry source said.
The government has revised proposed penalties for businesses that flout decrees aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus so as to take into account the size of the venue while giving police the authority to suspend the operation of an establishment without securing a court order. A previous bill, sent to the House as a matter of urgency in anticipation it would be approved before last weekend, had ran into difficulty in the House Legal Affairs committee after MPs said it was unreasonable that a small neighbourhood coffee shop should be subject to the same, severe penalties as a huge establishment. The issue became even more pressing after a Protaras venue was fined five times for breaking the decree, with police unable to close it down even temporarily under the current legal framework, having to wait until courts reopened on Tuesday to ask (and obtain) an injunction.
With airports now open and flight connectivity gradually being restored, the Foreign Ministry on Friday issued two travel advisories for Cypriot citizens who plan to travel or are already abroad. Thefirst is for countries in groups A and B based on the epidemiological monitoring unit’s classification of June 10 regarding the coronavirus situation. Here the Foreign Ministry advises caution. Thesecond is for all other countries, and here the Foreign Ministry recommends against non-essential travel. The ministry said that data is being constantly evaluated and the travel advisories will be updated wherever necessary. It also noted that the classification of countries is ‘dynamic’ and is being updated. Groups A countries are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Group B are Israel, Poland and Romania. “In light of the continuing spread globally of coronavirus COVID-19 and given its classification by the World Health Organisation as a pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises Cypriot citizens to exercise caution when travelling to these countries and to check in advance to make sure they are aware of the entry regulations and other measures that apply in their county of destination,” it said. Citizens of the Republic of Cyprus who are temporarily located or permanently reside in these countries are advised to be cautious, to follow local and international media on the latest developments regarding COVID-19, to adhere to the relevant instructions of the country’s authorities including restrictions or guidance concerning COVID-19 and to take self-protection measures, it added. Cypriot citizens who are currently abroad, or intend to travel abroad for exceptional reasons, are encouraged to register on the online platform email@example.com
It should be noted that passengers intending to arrive/return to Cyprus will be required to comply with the applicable process and requirements for entry to Cyprus foreseen by relevant Decrees and Decisions of the Council of Ministers. Relevant announcements, press releases and information published by the Ministry of Health and other competent Authorities and Services of the Republic of Cyprus, are available from the dedicated website https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/
Police will carry out targeted operations and intensive inspections at the weekend to control the measures which must be observed in various premises and restaurants, spokesman Christos Andreou warned on Friday. The police presence will be strengthened and various other services and departments will help to carry out the inspections, he said. He reiterated that according to the latest decree and guidelines from the health ministry “regardless of the square footage of each property, the maximum number of people that can be served cannot exceed 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.” He also said the distance of three square metres for indoors and two square metres for outdoors per person still applies. This is valid for restaurants, hotels and tourist accommodation, taverns, cafes, pizzerias, pubs, snack bars and bars, cafes, canteens, schools, sports clubs, cultural centres groups and similar places. People will be served in their seats and not directly at bars. The regulations will be valid until June 30, he concluded.