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Update – 29/06/2020

  • The health ministry on Monday announced two new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 996. One of the cases was found after 766 samples from passengers and repatriated individuals. The second was found through a hospital lab test. The individual had a history of travel.
  • Lawmakers on Monday gave the nod to an extra €150m in direct assistance relating to the economic fallout from the coronavirus situation. The €150m forms the lion’s share of a €231 million supplementary government budget and is geared at assisting businesses and the self-employed until October this year. The supplementary budget will be put to the vote at the House plenary this coming Friday. Altogether the €231m represents a fiscal burden of 1.14 per cent of GDP. But MPs said the latest coronavirus-related support schemes leave out one category, namely pensioners who own businesses that continue to operate despite being affected by the economic downturn. They called on the government to include this category of people.
  • The Health Ministry on Monday issued a revised list of countries regarding their epidemiological risk as regards coronavirus for travel purposes, making only minor changes. Japan was added to Group A and Serbia to Group B. Bulgaria was moved to Group B from A, as had been announced from last week. Passengers from Group A are not required to present a certificate they have undergone a coronavirus test. Those from Group B will have to present such a certificate from a recognised lab no older than 72 hours prior to departure. However, passengers who cannot obtain such a certificate in the country of residence will have the option to carry out a test on arrival and cover the cost of 60 euro. About 300 random tests will also be carried out every day among passengers from both groups of countries. Only Cypriots and legal residents are allowed to come to Cyprus from countries that are not on either list. They are tested and need to self-isolate. Classifications are based on the reproduction rate R (t)  for Covid-19, the number of new cases, the number of tests, the mortality rate per 100,000 people, the estimated prevalence and WHO indicators. Classification of countries based on epidemiological risk is exceptionally dynamic and can change at any given moment as the pandemic develops, the ministry said. For this reason, new data will be announced and the list will be regularly updated, it added The countries have been classified as follows:
    • Group A – Low risk countries
      • These are countries with R (t) of below 1 and/or small number of new cases (<1/100,000 inhabitants a day)  and/or very low COVID19 mortality  (<5-10/100,000 inhabitants) and/or sporadic cases or cluster of cases according to WHO and /or at least satisfactory tests (>3000 tests/100,000 residents): Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Japan, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea
    • Group B – Countries with  possible low risk but with greater doubts compared to Group A 
      • These are countries with R (t) above 1 and/or new cases of  >1/100,000 people a day and/or increased COVID-19 mortality (>10/100,000 people)  and/or limited lab tests  (<2000 tests/100,000 people) or lack of classification by WHO: Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Romania, Serbia, UAE
  • Indoor cinemas and theatres can reopen from July 1 under health and safety rules governing their operation, the Health Ministry announced on Monday citing the epidemiological situation as regards the coronavirus. It said that the maximum number of people allowed in each cinema or theatre auditorium at any given moment will be calculated based on the available space and provided that there is a two metre distance or two vacant seats between individuals and groups as requested. Outdoor concerts and theatrical performances will also be permitted from July 1 in organised open areas, but with designated seats and in line with instructions on the operation of amphitheatres. https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/pdf/erg40.pdf. The ministry clarified that the maximum number of people permitted will be calculated on the basis of the available open space and provided seats have one metre distance or there are two empty seats between people and groups, as requested.
  • In June 2020, the recovery of the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), which had tentatively started in May, intensified, according to  data released today by DGECFIN, the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission. According to DGECFIN, registering,  the sharpest month-on-month increase on record in the euro area (+8.2 points up to 75.7) and the EU (+8.1 points up to 74.8), the ESI in both regions has so far recovered some 30% of the combined losses of March and April. Also the Employment Expectations Indicator (EEI) improved sharply for the second month in a row (by 12.7 points to 82.8 in the euro area and by 11.9 points to 82.7 in the EU). More specifically, in Cyprus the ESI increased to 79.7 points in June up from 76.8 in May and the EEI to 98.2 up from 96.9. In Greece ESI further declined to 87.6 points in June down from 88.5 in May, while the EEI increased to 97.6 from 94.6
  • There are no coronavirus patients at Famagusta General Hospital which is the referral hospital for Covid-19, CNA reports. It said that the last Covid-19 patient was discharged yesterday after the repeat test came back negative. Since March 11 when the referral hospital started operation, there were 154 admissions. A total of 138 patients were discharged and sent home after making a full recovery. There are currently eight people at Eden Resort at Tersephanou until they too test negative twice.
  • Police carried out 682 checks over the last 24 hours and booked eight businesses for violations of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. A police spokesman told CNA that three of the businesses booked were in Nicosia, three in Paphos and two in the Morphou area. Overall there were 55 checks in Nicosia, 84 in Limassol, 223 in Larnaca, 48 in Paphos, 225 in Famagusta and 47 in the Morphou area.

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