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Update – 29/05/2020

  • There was one new Covid-19 case in Cyprus, the Health Ministry said on Friday, from a total of 2363 tests, bringing the total number of positive cases to 942. The case was found through 447 tests from repatriations. The Health Ministry said that the close contacts of the person have been traced and all relevant protocols have been activated to keep them isolated for a period of two days so they can undergo a second test.
  • There will be no second wave of Covid-19, leading member of the ministry epidemiology team Leontios Kostrikis said on Friday, citing international research. “As time passes, most scientific assessments suggest what I was supporting about a month ago, that there will be no second wave,” he told Sigmalive. Literature considers three possible scenarios, the good, the bad and the ugly, as they are called. The good scenario is what we are experiencing currently in Cyprus, the virologist said, where the epidemic is near the end and there will be some small infections. The bad means the virus will not go away suddenly but will expand and significantly resurge over time and will last until the end of the year or maybe more. The ugly scenario includes a new wave of the virus, which will come from abroad and will start a new epidemic like the one in March. “We will have the good scenario,” he said.
  • The team of scientists advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak are due to hold a new meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday to discuss phase three of the lockdown exit strategy, CNA reports. Included in phase three — from June 9 to July 13 — is the opening of the airports, gyms, open air cinemas and theatres among other. Decisions are expected to be taken on when nurseries and kindergartens will reopen. CNA said the meeting will also assess phase two. Experts are also expected to discuss what measures should be in place once phase three ends.
  • Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Constantinos Herodotou, has said that he expects the country’s economy to experience a “serious recession” in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The economy’s prospects for 2020 and afterwards are dramatically overshadowed by the negative developments of the coronavirus pandemic,” Herodotou stresses in an introductory note included in the Central Bank’s annual report for 2019, which was released on Thursday. The Central Bank Governor says that the institution’s December 2019 projections had noted that in general downward risks for the Cypriot economy continued to be present, which could decelerate its future course. He continues noting that factors such as external geopolitical developments to do among other things with Brexit and trade tensions and the high level of private debt in addition with the challenges faced by the banking sector, continue to constitute likely risks, as he underlines, “which we will have to face even after the pandemic, but at an obviously greater degree.” According to Herodotou the progress made in 2019 supported the fast and coordinated actions of the government and the Central Bank in dealing with the economic impact of the pandemic crisis. He further says that the measures taken aim to reduce the negative impact of the cost in households, businesses and the real economy and stresses that “after the crisis is over we will have to remain focused in the effort of full consolidation of the economy and of our banking system.”
  • Only passengers and staff will be allowed into Larnaca and Paphos airports when they reopen on June 9 under public health protocols being adopted by operator Hermes Airports and relatives and friends who travel to the airport to welcome or see off passengers will need to wait outside or in the car park. Hermes Airports CEO Eleni Kalogerou told the Cyprus News Agency on Friday that both airports are ready to welcome passengers.  All the required measure are being taken in cooperation with state health services to protect passengers and employees, she added. Entrance will be allowed only to passengers and staff. There will be a thermal camera as passengers enter the airport so that anyone with temperature can be assisted by health professionals. Masks and gloves will be mandatory for everyone at all times anywhere at the airport while steps will be taken to ensure distancing, she added.
  • Cyprus is one of 29 countries from where visitors will be allowed to travel to Greece from June 15, the Greek ministry of tourism announced on Friday. According to the ministry, the list was compiled by taking into account the countries’ epidemiological profile. Visitors will be randomly tested, the tourism ministry said, and the government would monitor and evaluate developments related to the coronavirus. The list will be updated before July 1, the tourism ministry said. The 29 countries from which Greece will receive visitors are: Albania, Australia, Austria, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania. Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Finland.

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