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Update: 6-10/07/2020

corona virus
  • Three new coronavirus cases were announced by the health ministry on Friday, bringing the total to 1,013. The new cases arose from 1,247 tests processed over the past 24 hours.
  • Cyprus is among the countries from which the UK accepts passengers who, as of Friday, do not need to self-isolate for 14 days. The list includes around 70 countries and territories. The list also includes Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany and Hong Kong. Tourists from the UK are currently unable to enter Cyprus. The Cypriot government has announced that it may put Britain in category B on August 1 if the epidemiological outlook of the UK continues to improve. Passengers from category B countries are required to present a negative Covid-19 test certificate not older than 72 hours from a recognised laboratory.
  • he government on Thursday announced that given the very good epidemiological outlook in Cyprus during the past few weeks, further relaxations would be introduced from Sunday, mainly on gatherings. According to the health ministry, from Sunday, the maximum number of people in who can gather in public and private is being raised to 250 for outside areas from 150, and from 75 to 100 indoors. The ministry reiterated that indoor and outdoor simultaneous gatherings were still not allowed ie 250 outside and 100 inside. “In the event that social gatherings take place in homes, the maximum number includes the permanent residents,” it said. As regards restaurants, the maximum number of people they can serve is being raised to 250 outdoors. The same number – 100 – remains for indoor areas. The three-square-metres-per person rule indoors and two sq. m outdoors remains in place. This concerns only restaurants, hotels, taverns, cafes, pizzerias, pubs, snack-bars and bars, coffee shops, and canteens including those in schools, sports and cultural clubs. The health ministry clarifies that customers can be served only sitting at tables. People cannot sit or be served at bars. As regards weddings and christenings, the ministry announced that, in order to help people better organise, between August 22 and September 15, the maximum number of people that can attend dinner receptions must not exceed 350. It also said that though September 1 is the date being discussed as regards the resumption of concerts, fairs and festivals, no definite decision has been taken as yet. “According to the recommendations from the World Health Organisation and the ECDC, events such as concerts, festivals, fairs etc., pose an increased risk of the virus spreading and the decision to lift restrictions in this area must be taken with great care to avoid deterioration,” the ministry said. It urged organisers not to rush to announce events yet after September 1 until official announcements were made. The ministry recalled that concerts were currently allowed only in open-air amphitheatres and not in stadiums or elsewhere. The ministry also said that all measures were being constantly assessed and readjusted if necessary, based on the epidemiological outlook. Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said earlier on Thursday that  despite reassurances from the experts, his ministry was concerned by the deterioration of the epidemiological outlook in several countries after relaxations were implemented “and this is something we take seriously so that we too don’t go down that road.” Ioannou called on the people to continue taking personal protection measures to avoid a second pandemic wave.
  • The Republic of Cyprus raised on Tuesday €1 billion in a double -European bond issue through the reopening of existing bonds maturing on 3 December 2024 and 21 January 2040, with the total demand exceeding ten times the minimum amount announced. The minimum amount announced is €250 million for each transaction. In a written statement, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides expressed his satisfaction with “the extremely positive response by the markets.” In particular, the demand for the bond maturing in 2024 exceeded €2 billion, while for the bond maturing in 2040 the demand exceeded € 3 billion. As for the interest rates, at this stage, it appears that they will be around 0.34% for the five-year period and 1.47% for the twenty-year period. The books have been closed and the processing of the results is currently in progress. Petrides notes that public debt will only increase temporarily, as the funds collected will soon be used exclusively to repay the existing debt.
  • Police have issued out of court fines totalling €80,150 in the 17 days since tougher penalties were approved for businesses found breaking decrees to prevent the spread of coronavirus. With the adoption by the House of Representatives of the higher fines, police had stepped up their checks  of catering establishments. From June 19 when the new penalties were adopted to yesterday, police carried out 10,175 checks and booked 130 businesses.  Fines were issued for not wearing a mask, for not keeping the two metres distance and for breaking the rule on the maximum of people permitted. So far, police have not had to make use of the power they have been given by the House of Representatives to close down premises for repeat offences.
  • The Electricity Authority Cyprus has decided to extend the 10% reduction in electricity prices for two more months. It said the decision was in response to calls from the state at a time of challenges for the economy and as society steps up its collective effort to deal with the impact of the pandemic. “Therefore the total duration of the EAC’s contribution is six months. For monthly clients it will remain in effect until end of August and for bimonthly clients until the end of September 2020,” it said in an announcement. The EAC first announced a 10% reduction in electricity prices on March 19 and a two month extension at the end of April. It has clarified that amid the special conditions which have been created, this latest move exhausts its financial capabilities.

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