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Update – 25/06/2020

  • Another person — a passenger from Bulgaria — has tested positive for coronavirus after 1,104 tests, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. The individual was on the same flight on Tuesday as the one case that was reported yesterday.  The two are not connected nor were they sitting close to each other on the airplane. Both were detected by random testing.  Earlier on Thursday, the Health Ministry announced that Bulgaria was being moved to Group B as from Monday which means all arrivals will require a negative coronavirus test. Until then, all passengers from Bulgaria will be tested on arrival. Today’s case was detected among 490 tests of passengers and repatriates.
  • Bulgaria has been moved to Group B effective from Monday, June 29, meaning that all arrivals will require a certificate that they have tested negative for coronavirus, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. It said that within the framework of the constant review of Covid-19 risk of various countries and after positive cases were detected among passengers from Bulgaria it was decided to move the country to Group B (Countries with  possible low risk but with greater doubts compared to Group A). The new classification comes into effect on Monday and will be reviewed on the basis of the epidemiological indices as these evolve. Arrivals from Bulgaria from Monday will need a negative PCR test result for coronavirus no older than 72 hours. Until Monday, all passengers arriving from airports in Bulgaria up to an including Sunday will be tested on arrival, the ministry added.
  • The Education Ministry said on Thursday that the programme of 20,000 tests to pupils and staff at public and private schools has been completed. The Ministry said in an official announcement that “the results of the lab tests have confirmed that the health and safety protocol implemented by the Education Ministry in collaboration with the Health Ministry has fully accomplished its goal.” “The gradual reopening of schools contributed to the stable return to their daily routines of pupils and teachers alike,” it was added. The programme was approved by Cabinet on May 7, 2020, in the framework of the pupils’ safe return to schools amid the easing of Coronavirus measures. The programme covered nurseries, primary schools, secondary public schools and private schools across the island.
  • The government temporarily reduced VAT charges to 5 per cent from 9 per cent for hotels, restaurants and taxi transport. The move is intended to support the tourism industry with a boost in revenues – the reduction is not likely to be passed on to the customer. VAT Decree Κ.∆.Π 268/2020 was published on 23 June 2020 in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus indicating the reduced rate. The reduction of the rate for these services will be applied for the period from 1 July 2020 to 10 January 2021. The change only applies to the following services:
    • Accommodation in hotels, tourist accommodation and similar areas, including the provision of holiday accommodation.
    • Restaurant and catering services.
    • Transport of passengers and their accompanying luggage inside the Republic by urban, intercity, and rural taxis and by tourist and intercity buses.
  • Police said on Thursday that of 593 checks to premises conducted island-wide overnight for adherence to Coronavirus measures one business was booked in Nicosia. The business was found among 33 checks carried out in Nicosia by police members. Another 65 checks took place in Limassol, 251 in Larnaca, 81 in Paphos, 107 in Famagusta and 56 in Larnaca but no violations were found.
  • Retail trade reduced significantly in April 2020, the second month during which COVID-19 containment measures continued to apply in Cyprus. On the basis of provisional estimates by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, the Turnover Value Index of Retail Trade decreased by 30.2% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year and reached 79.6 units (base 2015=100). For the period January-April 2020, the index is estimated to have recorded a decrease of 4.8% compared to the same period of 2019. The Turnover Volume Index of Retail Trade decreased by 28.9% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year and reached 82.4 units (base 2015=100). For the period January-April 2020, the index is estimated to have recorded a decrease of 4.3% compared to the same period of 2019.

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