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Update – 20/05/2020

  • Four people tested positive to Covid-19 after 1984 diagnostic tests raising the total number of cases in Cyprus to 922, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday. Three of the cases were from the tracing of the contacts of positive cases (78 tests today), and specifically, they were family members of a support staff member at a Strovolos high school who tested positive over the weekend. The fourth case was found through testing among special health groups (135 tests today). Dr Leontios Kostrikis said that the beginning of Phase Two of the easing of restrictions tomorrow is a landmark event and urged people to remain on course to prevent regression. Dr Loizou touched upon the social stigmatisation of people who were found positive to the virus and said that they should be reintegrated in society without any discrimination, as no one contracted the virus by choice.
  • Cyprus’ Government Spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos said on Wednesday that safeguarding jobs and the sustainability of businesses so that the economy and the country can stand on its own feet once more, has been the government’s only concern. Koushos was referring to a government bill on state guarantees to support the business sector which was withdrawn following the disagreement of political parties with various provisions included in it, according to a presidency press release. He stressed that the government could not risk time consuming procedures which could have been necessary, had the bill been voted to include proposed amendments by the parties, which may have been unconstitutional or against the framework set by the EU and would mean lengthy legal proceedings possibly before the Supreme Court. Such a delay, he noted, “would clearly prevent the economy’s restart and the provision of liquidity.”
  • The Council of Ministers will decide on Friday about the action plan concerning the re-operation of the airports in Cyprus as well as for the re-opening of the hotels, Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas has said. The Cyprus government`s action plan for the gradual lifting of the restrictive measures for flights to and from Larnaca and Paphos airports were the focus of a meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential palace under President Nicos Anastasiades. The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Transport, Health, Finance, Labour, Foreign Affairs, Justice and the Deputy Minister of Tourism as well as by the members of the scientific group on COVID-19. In statements after the meeting, Sentonas noted that President Anastasiades listened to the opinions of the scientists for various issues, related to these plans, as the phases for the opening of airports, the categorization of the venues, the determination of criteria and the preconditions of each category as well as the measures for prevention and health protection. Sentonas said that President Anastasiades thanked the scientists for their valuable services for the management of the pandemic, and the effort they are making to inform citizens.
  • Revenue from tourism dropped by 73.5% in March 2020, according to the results of the Passenger Survey announced by the Statistical Service of Cyprus. As of March 15, an entry ban was imposed in Cyprus on several categories of persons, including tourists, as part of the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Revenue from tourism reached €25.6 mn in March 2020 compared to €96.6 mn in the corresponding month of the previous year. For the period of January – March 2020 revenue from tourism is estimated at €115.3 mn compared to €188.6 mn in the corresponding period of 2019, recording a decrease of 38.9%.

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