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Update – 16/05/2020

  • Four new cases were announced on Saturday, all among coronavirus tests given to pupils and school staff.The four new cases were among 325 samples taken from tests given to pupils and school staff. The total number reached 914 cases. Results from 1,564 were received on Saturday. Meanwhile, three patients are on ventilators at the Nicosia general hospital’s ICU. Their condition is critical but stable. Health authorities started screening final year high-school pupils and teachers who returned to school this week. In total 20,000 tests will be carried out across the island that will cover all education levels. Final year high-school pupils returned to schools on Monday. Following the low numbers in new cases, with figures remaining in single digits since the first relaxation of measures on May 4, the epidemiology committee on Friday gave the president the green light for the implementation of phase two of lifting Covid-19 restrictions. This also concerns the opening of schools on May 21 excluding first and second year students at lyceum which will continue distance learning. Kindergartens will also remain closed. The school year has been extended until June 26.
  • Paphos has the highest incidence of locally acquired  coronavirus cases per 100,000 people and Limassol the lowest according to the latest data issued by the Health Ministry’s epidemiological surveillance unit on Saturday. This incorporates data up to May 14. Paphos had 127.5 cases per 100,000 population followed by Larnaca with 115,000. Nicosia had 74.6 per 100,000 population, Famagusta 47.7 and Limassol 24.9. Travel related cases and those under investigation are excluded from this data. One in four of coronavirus cases were over 60 years old and 6% were under 17. Positive cases overall were split equally among men and women.
  • The stage appeared set on Friday for the implementation of phase two of lifting Covid-19 restrictions as scientific experts gave the president the green light, they said and as schools reopening is to go ahead, barring the first and second years of lyceums, and kindergartens. Announcing three new coronavirus cases Friday evening – figures have remained in single digits since the first relaxation of measures on May 4, scientific adviser Leontios Kostrikis, said epidemiological data was at the right levels to proceed with phase two. Kostrikis and other advisers met President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace earlier in a meeting that went on for more than three hours, to discuss whether the way was clear to proceed with further lifting of restrictions.
  • A shop owner was fined by police for staying open after 10pm in violation of Covid-19 restrictions. Two citizens were also booked for holding gatherings in their homes while another shop owner was fined for not having the appropriate signs as the decree outlines. The police checked a total of 948 premises and six were booked, four in Limassol, one in Nicosia and one in Larnaca in the last 12 hours from 6pm on Friday to 6am on Saturday. One shop owner was charged for operating after 10pm, another one for not having the required signs and home owners after police found three visitors in one house and two in a second.
  • Police stepped up patrols in Limassol on Saturday as people sought respite from the sizzling heat in the sea. Limassol  police spokesman Ioannis Soteriades told CNA that the decrees are clear that only swimming as exercise is permitted and any other activity at the beach is prohibited. Soterides said that from 6 am to 12 noon, police had carried out 753 checks and booked 17 people. Of the people booked 12 were booked for sunbathing or playing beach volley or beach tennis. “The primary aim of police is to warn people that they cannot break the decree which sets out what activities are permitted. Where there are violations, police with report them,” he said.
  • Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will hold consultations with counterparts from countries popular with German tourists on how to gradually relax Covid-19 travel restrictions. Taking part in Monday’s teleconference are Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Malta, Slovenia, Cyprus and Bulgaria. The aim is to forged a coordinated approach to opening borders to tourists, CNA reports. Germany currently has an official travel warning against any foreign holidays until June 14. CNA says the country is planning to ease this advisory, starting with European countries, provided there is no upset in the fight against coronavirus. Germany has announced plans for reopening its borders. Borders will be reopened in a staggered manner, on a country-by-country basis. Deutsche Welle reports that the first measures start on Saturday. The next wave will start on June 15.

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