Another 6 people tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, the health ministry announced, bringing the total to 843. The new cases were found from a total of 436 tests. All eyes have been focused on the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades who will address the people at 20:30 (local time) During the televised address, the President is expected to announce the plan to ease restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.
President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday announced the gradual easing of the lockdown in two stages starting from May 4. Further relaxations will come into force on May 21. These concern both sectors of the economy and movement of people who from May 4 will be allowed three movements from their house a day. Restrictions on movement will be scrapped altogether on May 21. Saying he felt proud of what has been achieved so far, the president said that it was important to adhere to the rules and warned against complacency. In a televised address, Anastasiades said that the Council of Ministers had decided to end some of the restrictive measures which will allow a gradual return to an acceptable way of life without endangering what we have achieved. The decisions:
No restrictions on the construction sector and related businesses
Reopening of all retail shops except malls and department stores, subject to various rules regarding hygiene
Reopening of farmers markets, open bazaars, again under conditions relating to hygiene
Reopening of tourist and travel offices
Full operation of public sector; return of all employees to work except for vulnerable groups as per the relevant list and those who have to look after children up to 15 years old. Both groups must carry out assignments given to them from home.
This allows courts to resume subject to instructions to be issued by the Supreme Court
Last year of secondary school will go back to class on May 11. Tele- schooling will continue for the others.
From May 4 restrictions end and Dental Services re-operate
Citizens will be allowed three SMS a day for movement
Curfew from 10 pm to 6 am
Pray at church and other places of worship allowed provided there are no more than 10 people at any one time
Decree for weddings, funerals and christenings remains
Opening of sport facilities for high performance athletes on May 4
Training of teams to be allowed from May 18
All restrictions on movement to be lifted
Freedom to use parks, play areas in open areas, squares, marinas, provided gatherings are not more than 10 people
Catering establishments reopen only outside, based on strict protocols to be issued by the Labour Ministry
Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians
Exercise allowed in open areas, paths and swimming.
Parks and children’s areas remain closed
Access to and operation of organized beaches
Ports to come into full operation with the exception of disembarkation of passengers from cruise ships
Reopening of libraries, museums, archaeological and historical sites
Reoperation of betting shops
From June 1 church-going and other forms of religious worship will be allowed given that all health protocols are followed as will be defined by the MoH. The same will apply for weddings, baptisms and funerals.
The General Government`s deficit increased by €104.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 on an annual basis, the Cyprus Statistical Service announced on Wednesday. On the basis of the preliminary data on the General Government accounts for October-December 2019, which are compiled in accordance to EU concepts and definitions (ESA 2010), total revenue amounted €2,534.9mn, while total expenditure reached €2,812.3mn, resulting in a deficit of €277.4mn, as compared to a deficit of €173.0mn in the corresponding period of the previous year. The main categories of revenue for the period October-December 2019 were: taxes on production and imports €792.6mn (2,5% decrease as compared to the fourth quarter of 2018), of which net VAT was €471.1mn (4.5% decrease, which is attributed to the payment of tax arrears to the Government, from €188mn in 2018 to €118mn in 2019), taxes on income and wealth €581.8mn (2.9% increase), and social contributions €638.3mn (25,6% increase). Revenue from the sale of goods and services reached €330.0mn registering an increase of 33.3% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The main categories of expenditure for the period October-December 2019 were: social transfers €856.6mn (8.4% increase compared to the corresponding period of 2018) and compensation of employees (including imputed social contributions and pensions of civil servants) €877.2mn (10.0% increase). The capital account recorded an expenditure of €234.1mn (€204.0mn investment and €30.1mn capital transfers) as compared to €305.5mn during the corresponding period of 2018 (€277.5mn investment and €28.0mn capital transfers) registering a decrease of 23.4%. Intermediate consumption reached €476.8mn (52.9% increase as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year). Increased amounts in specific categories of revenue and expenditure are partly attributed to the implementation of the National Health System as of 01.03.2019.
Cypriot consumers are increasingly turning to credit cards as opposed to traditional cash payments for their daily needs amidst the coronavirus pandemic, data by JCC payments systems show. According to data given to CNA by JCC, use of credit or debit cards usage in supermarkets rose by 31% from March 17 to April 26 compared with the respective period of last year, limiting the reduction in overall credit card usage for the period to 10% amid containment measures to limit the spread of the disease. Furthermore, the usage of credit cards in kiosks, where Cypriots traditionally used cash, spiked by 93% compared with the respective period of last year. Speaking to CNA, Aris Kourris, JCC’s Chief Operating Officer, said the rise in card usage in supermarkets comes as many customers turned from cash to credit cards due to calls for the usage of plastic money as opposed to cash in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, as well as easier procedures implemented by commercial banks such as the issuance of cards via internet. He also said credit card usage for payments to government rose as public services enabled credit payments for social insuranc
Over two-thirds of Cyprus’ chief financial officers (CFOs) predict a recession due to measures taken to stop the spread of coronavirus, financial consulting service PWC reported. According to a survey conducted from April 20 to 22 on 45 of the island’s CFOs, 73 per cent said there was a recession coming, while 58 per cent believed there would be a decrease in consumption and consumer confidence. “Furthermore, over three-quarters (78%) of respondents are very concerned about the effects of Covid-19 on their operations, with only 9% believing that the pandemic is an isolated challenge that does not currently have any significant impact on their business,” PWC said. Another 69 per cent expected a reduction in their company revenue, due to the pandemic. Most of the CFOs (69 per cent) are looking to reduce their business operating costs, while 42 per cent are planning to change their human resources. Sixty-two per cent said if the virus measures were lifted today, the company would be able to get back to business as usual within three months.
Police booked 96 drivers and pedestrians for breaking the lockdown after carrying out 3352 checks from 6 pm on Tuesday to 6 am on Wednesday.
Since Cyprus introduced restrictions on arrivals on March 21, just over 3000 people have already been repatriated, and according to the flight plan the number is set to total 4000 by April 30, Foreign Ministry spokesman Demetris Samuel said on Tuesday.