Three people have tested positive for coronavirus after 1794 diagnostic tests on Friday, raising the total number of cases in Cyprus to 910, 12 of which in the British Bases. Dr Leontios Kostrikis said that given the ‘very satisfactory’ results two weeks after the initial relaxation of measures, experts have advised the government today to go ahead with plans for the further easing of the lockdown. He added that the coming days are critical as more pupils will go back to school.
Following a meeting with the team of health experts on Friday morning, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said that only primary and lower secondary (gymnasium) schools will resume classes on May 21 as part of Phase Two of easing of lockdown measures. Pupils will attend classes on a rotation basis to avoid crowding, with the first group attending class the one week and the second on the next and so on. Prodromou said that on Thursday, May 21 the first group of primary and gymnasium children will go back to class and on May 22 the second and the pupils will be briefed on the hygiene protocol on both days. From Monday, May 25 the weekly rotation system will take effect. Attendance of final year upper-secondary pupils who resumed classes this week will continue.
The suspension of foreclosures has been extended until August 31, the association of banks said on Friday. In a statement, the association outlined that the foreclosures for immovable property had been suspended between March 18 until June 18 as per a previous decision. This has now been extended until August 31, 2020 after taking into account the “current condition of the economy and the consequences this pandemic caused the Cypriot market.” In March, the government issued a decree ordering all licensed banks in Cyprus to suspend the collection of loan installments – including interest – until the end of the year.
Despite last-ditch efforts by Anorthosis and the Pancyprian Footballers Association (Pasp), the current football season has been definitively cancelled. The cancellation was confirmed during a Cyprus Football Association (CFA) meeting that took place on Friday, in which clubs took on board the government’s feedback, following consultations between all parties at the presidential palace on Thursday. The CFA deemed the disparity between their own safety guidelines and those of the government’s own epidemiological team to be an insurmountable obstacle, inadvertently rendering cancellation the only possible outcome.
Labour inspectors on Friday closed two construction sites in Paphos and one in Limassol after carrying out 51 inspections on compliance with health protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In the past two weeks since the construction sector went back to work, inspectors have closed down 57 construction sites and issued 14 out of court fines. Today, the inspectors also carried out 643 checks of shops where they found a satisfactory level of compliance although there were cases where there was unsatisfactory signage, particularly on the floor. Compliance at construction sites was fair, but some did not have the necessary washing and hygiene facilities. Since May 4 when the first stage of the relaxation of the lockdown started, inspectors have carried out 7,250 checks — 6,255 in retail trade and 995 at construction sites.
Police carried out a total of 3,418 checks for violations of the ban on movements over 12 hours from Thursday evening to Friday morning, inspecting 544 premises and 2,874 persons on foot and in cars. Seventy-eight of them were booked. Though a curfew is still in place from 10pm until 6pm, early morning traffic after 5.30am suggests that measures are not being as strictly enforced as in the past weeks. Of the 544 premises inspected, 182 were in Nicosia, six in Limassol, 128 in Larnaca, 102 in Paphos, 55 in Famagusta and 71 in Morphou. Only one, in Paphos, was booked. Regarding the checks on persons, 30 were booked in Nicosia, 28 in Limassol, two in Larnaca, four in Paphos and 10 in Famagusta. The emergency response unit booked another three.