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Update – 28/04/2020

  • Another 15 people tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, the health ministry announced, bringing the total to 837. The new cases were found from a total of 2,999 tests, virologist Leontios Kostrikis said. All eyes have been focused on the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, where the relaxation of Covid-19 measures will be decided. The lifting of the measures is due to take place gradually in four stages.
  • The number of people treated for coronavirus in Cyprus’ hospitals is dropping. At the Famagusta General Hospital, designated as the Covid-19 reference hospital of Cyprus, 19 people are hospitalized with coronavirus with one treated at the ACU. Their condition has been described as good. Four patients are expected to be discharged after their second tests were negative. In Limassol, 17 patients are being treated for coronavirus symptoms and two are intubated at the hospital’s ICU. Eleven persons are in Larnaca General Hospital with coronavirus symptoms. Four of them are in the Intensive Care Unit. At the Eden Resort Rehabilitation Resort in Tersefanou, there are 66 patients recuperating from coronavirus. In Paphos, three suspected coronavirus cases are being treated at Polis Chrysochous hospital.
  • The advisory body on the pandemic met today with President Nicos Anastasiades and they discussed the lifting of measures, but final decisions will be taken on Wednesday by the Cabinet, Deputy Government Spokesperson Panagiotis Sentonas said. In an announcement following the meeting, he said that the Cabinet will also decide tomorrow on the restart of the economy. He added that today the President heard the opinions of the advisory body about the plan that was put together by the ministerial committee and includes the steps to be taken for the relaxation of the restrictive measures, including the restart of the economy. Sentonas said that the committee took into consideration all the scientific evidence and the economic and social conditions. The Ministers of Health and Finance attended today’s meeting.
  • As cabinet meets tomorrow to decide on the gradual easing of the lockdown, the epidemiological monitoring unit of the Health Ministry has issued its latest update on the coronavirus disease in Cyprus. The data is up to April 26.
  • Deposits in the Cypriot banking system declined by €452.4 million in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the Central Bank of Cyprus. This is the third consecutive monthly reduction in deposits whose balance in March amounted to €49.7 billion. Deposits declined by €881 million in the last three months, according to the CBC data. The biggest drop in March was observed in deposits held by domestic residents with €344 million. Deposits held by domestic residents amount 81% of the total deposits. According to the ECB the annual change in deposits amounted to 1.2% in March compared with 1.5% the previous month. Furthermore, the CBC said that total loans in March 2020 exhibited a net increase of €62.5 million, compared with a net increase of €8.0 million in February 2020. The annual growth rate stood at -4,9%, remaining unchanged compared with February 2020, the CBC added According to the data, the outstanding amount of total loans reached €33.6 billion in March 2020.
  • EU Tourism Ministers discussed specific measures to actively support the tourism sector, which is affected by the COVID-19 crisis, in an informal teleconference on Monday. According to a statement from the Deputy Minister of Tourism, the teleconference was initiated by the Croatian Presidency of the Council of EU, and was attended by Cypriot Deputy Minister, Savvas Perdios. The conference was also attended by Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, and UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. Tourism was one of the most affected economic sectors by the COVID-19 crisis, with a severe blow to its small and medium-sized enterprises, but also for millions of citizens of the European Union, who are employed by companies in the sector.
  • The Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) and the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) have agreed to submit a joint proposal to the governments of both countries for Cyprus and Greece to be considered a single area for tourism purposes. The decision was taken during a teleconference on Friday where they confirmed their readiness to create a new tourist dogma. The proposal will include sharing tourists, when the conditions allow and provided both countries have successfully tackled the COVID-19 pandemic. A prerequisite for the successful outcome of the dogma will be the opening of Cypriot airports which the tourist agents are waiting for. Welcoming the decision, the Cyprus-Greece business association said the exchange of tourists is a very positive step in efforts to handle the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic in the tourism industry. The Cyprus-Greece business association notes that both countries can cover part of their losses from tourism, if they provide generous incentives to their citizens to visit each country over the summer. The association further repeated its suggestion for joint tourism packages noting that these can be offered in countries with low numbers of coronavirus cases, with health measures that will be valid for tourists. It also said that it will continue to work closely with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the  Greek National Tourism Organisation in Cyprus to implement these initiatives for the benefit of both countries. It also said that it will work to promote a closer tourism cooperation and a ferry connection between Greece and Cyprus, a line that stopped operating in 2000.
  • Only 36% of the out of court fines issued by police for violations of the lockdown have been paid, Alpha TV reports. It said that police had reported 8376 violations for which 6,975 out of court fines were issued while the rest will go to court. Of these 2,544, or 36% have been paid, leaving 4,431, still pending. Alpha said police have already or will be filing court cases for the remaining 1401 decree violations. Under the law, fines must be paid within 15 days after which the fine doubles. If it remains unpaid for a further 15 days, the case goes to court.

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