Thursday 30th April 2020
The following is I believe a word for word translation of the Health Ministers speech to the country regarding the four stage lifting of restrictions with reference to the Corona Virus Pandemic … I have not edited one word, added a few capitals and tidied it up with a few bold headings otherwise it’s exactly as I received it on my telephone, from my son Alex Blue … I hope it’ll help a little for those who do not understand Greek or that do not trust the media … Tony Dynamou
“During today’s cabinet meeting and after taking into account the recommendations of the scientific group and the recommendations of the European Commission and the World Health Organisation, the first two phases for the gradual lifting of restrictions were decided, which begin on 4th and 21st May respectively”.
In the first phase:
1. Sector of Economy.
- From 4th May, restrictions on the construction sector and all similar business activities supporting it are lifted.
- All retail businesses, except shopping centres and department stores, are reopened. It is understood that the operation of the stores will be governed by the safety and health protocols as determined by the competent Ministries of Health and Labour.
- The open markets, the plan-sale and the bazaars are reopened, always under the conditions laid down in the relevant instructions of the Minister of Health.
- The tourist and travel agencies are reopening.
- Public Sector
From 4th May,
Full operation of the public and wider public sector, with a return of all workers to their jobs. Attendance schedules will be determined by the relevant ministers. Those who fall into the vulnerable groups as defined in the new revised list released by the Ministry of Health are excluded.
- employees who are responsible for the care of children up to 15 years of age will be entitled to leave until the reopening of public and private schools.
It is understood that during their absence they are required to perform any tasks assigned to them by the telework method.
- the same method will also work people who fall into vulnerable groups and will not return to their workplace.
- with the return of civil servants, it becomes possible to operate the courts, always according to decisions to be taken by the Supreme Court.
- Department of Education.
- Giving priority to the need for adequate preparation of graduates of public and private secondary schools, it was decided to return them to school units from 11th May.
In relevant announcements, as well as references for all other levels of education, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and youth will make. It is understood that until the full reopening of the school units will continue e-education.
- Public Health.
In the framework of the normalisation of the operation of public and private hospitals, from Monday 4th May, partially lifted restrictions and will be lifted thereafter, based on the instructions of the Ministry of Health and fully reopened dental centres.
- Civil Liberties.
With regard to individual freedoms and restrictive measures taken, the following were decided:
- (i) Increase the number of trips to three per day by text message (SMS).
The trafficking ban remains in effect from 10 pm until 6 am.
- (ii) it is allowed from 4th May to pray in churches, mosques and other places of worship, provided that no more than 10 people will coexist at the same time. The decree on weddings, christenings and funerals continues to apply.
From 1st June,
Church attendance and other forms of religious worship will be allowed in churches, mosques and other religious sites, provided that the health protocols as determined by the Ministry of Health will be strictly observed.
The same measures will apply to weddings, christenings and funerals.
At this point, I would like to express my warmest thanks to the Primate of the Church of Cyprus for his excellent cooperation and responsibility in handling such a sensitive issue.
Walking, swimming in the sea, cycling, etc. is allowed, in open spaces, on sidewalks and sidewalks within parks, if not more than two persons. Minor children are excluded from this restriction.
Parks, playgrounds and other open spaces will remain closed.
From 4th May,
It is allowed to use open or outdoor sports facilities for high-performance athletes and athletes included in the list of the Cyprus Olympic Committee.
From 18th May,
Team sports training is allowed only in open areas, based on the protocols that will be issued by the Ministry of Health.
It is noted that in both categories of individual and team sports the use of locker rooms, gyms or other closed related infrastructure is not allowed.
As I have repeatedly stressed, everything depends on strict adherence to epidemiological protocols and directives to be issued by the relevant ministries.
Therefore, the decisions which include the measures in this or the second phase will depend entirely on the epidemiological indicators and the recommendations of the scientific team.
Subject to the above,
the measures decided on for the second phase include the following:
- From 21st May, all restrictions on the movement of citizens are lifted.
- Free will be the presence in parks, playgrounds in open spaces, squares, marinas etc. II, provided that the persons assembled shall not exceed 10.
- They are reopening outdoor-only catering operations, on the basis of strict protocols to be issued by the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Health.
- From May 21, hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons are reopening.
- From 1 June:
Access to organised beaches is allowed.
- Ports shall be fully operational, with the exception of the disembarkation of passengers from cruise ships.
- Libraries, museums, archaeological and historical sites will be reopened.
- The bookmakers are reopening.
“The operation of the above business or other activities, I want to repeat, will be strictly regulated by the terms and conditions set by the Ministries of Health and Labour”.
“At the same time, I point out that the government’s plan for gradual repatriation of students and other Cypriot nationals, which due to the measures taken have been blocked abroad, is being implemented”.