Cyprus plans gradual reopening and easing of measures

Cyprus plans gradual reopening and easing of measures

A comprehensive proposal for the first phase of restarting the economy and the easing of the measures for the citizens’ movement, will be presented by the scientific team on the coronavirus, to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and to the competent ministerial committee, on 28th April 2020. In turn, the Council of Ministers will take the relevant decisions on the 29th April 2020 (https://www.stockwatch.com.cy/en/article/oikonomia/scientific-team-present-president-april-28-proposal-restart-economy).

The President had meetings with the advisory scientific team on the coronavirus as well as with the employers’ organisations and trade unions and construction sector actors, to discuss the management of the coronavirus pandemic in Cyprus. Specifically, they referred to the fields of the economy that could get back on track during the first phase, as well as to the easing of measures for the movement of citizens, under the precondition that this will be allowed by the epidemiological data and the epidemiological indicators.(https://www.stockwatch.com.cy/en/article/oikonomia/gradual-lifting-restrictions-and-economy-restart-strategy-cabinet-april-29).

It was reported that constructions sites and small retail companies, are likely to be amongst the first on the list that will resume operations on the 4th May 2020, as a first phase of the four phases, that will spread out between two and three months (https://www.kathimerini.com.cy/gr/kypros/oi-proteraiotites-kai-oi-endoiasmoi-gia-tin-xalarosi).

Regarding the second phase, it was stated that by mid-May, and if the epidemiological data are favourable, authorities are expected to open hair salons, beauty parlours and gyms. The third phase will involve the resumption of sporting events behind closed doors, whereas malls, hotels, restaurants and cafeterias will be part of the fourth phase with certain restrictions relating to the number of people they can accommodate. In relation to the hotels, it should be noted that the industry depends on the number of flights and the health conditions that will prevail in the countries of origin of tourists (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/04/24/coronavirus-four-phases-and-three-months-for-opening-up-measures/).

Airports and crossing points are expected to open at a later stage – reportedly in three months – in order to contain the coronavirus pandemic internally. In relation to the commercial flights, the above is depicted by the fact that the transport ministry announced on Friday, 24th April 2020, that the ban on commercial flights has been extended for another two weeks – until Sunday, 17th May 2020 (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/04/24/coronavirus-four-phases-and-three-months-for-opening-up-measures/) (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/04/24/coronavirus-flight-ban-extended/).

In addition to the issue of reopening some sectors of the economy as mentioned above, the matter of easing the measures for the movement of citizens will be raised and put before the Council of Ministers, on the 29th April 2020, as part of phase one. In particular, the government is considering easing the measure of exceptional movement, by more than one SMS a day. At the same time, a proposal to open parks and coastal fronts in cities where citizens can go for a walk may be considered (http://www.reporter.com.cy/politics/article/670981/kathorizetai-o-odikos-chartis-pros-tin-kanonikotita-diakiniseis-me-neoys-oroys).

The Health Minister, Mr. Constantinos Ioannou, said on Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, that the government will be assessing the coronavirus measure relaxations every two weeks, and that the easing of the lockdown will be gradual and dependent on epidemiological data (https://in-cyprus.philenews.com/road-map-to-ending-lockdown/).

He added that according to data presented to him, up to last Thursday, 16th April 2020, the R0 in Cyprus was at 1.1 to 1, whereas, in the beginning of the pandemic, globally, one person was infecting three to four others. Mr. Ioannou pointed out that “experts in Cyprus and abroad say that this index must be one to one or even under that (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/04/22/coronavirus-relaxation-measures-will-be-reassessed-every-two-weeks/).

Mr. Ioannou further stated that “day by day we are reaching our goal of containing the (coronavirus) cases. However, we have not yet reached the end” (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/04/23/coronavirus-cyprus-close-to-containing-virus-says-minister/).