Policy responses for Cyprus - HSRM

Cyprus


Policy responses for Cyprus

1.2 Physical distancing

Update 18th October 2020

On October 6th the MoH announced that the restrictive measures that have been imposed in Larnaca district will be extended until midnight, October 14th. More specifically, the public was reminded that the measures in force are as follows: (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/07102020_3.pdf):
  • Individuals are permitted to attend gatherings in houses and public meeting areas, with the exception of catering places, at a maximum number of 10 persons per house/group, including the children.
  • Religious worship activities and other related ceremonies, will only be performed with a maximum number of 75 participants, and subject to the protocols in force for places of religious worship.
  • The holding of sport events in the sports venues of Larnaca district is permitted without the presence of spectators, provided that the relevant protocols are observed.
  • The maximum number of persons allowed to be served in catering establishments in Larnaca district is set at 75 for indoor spaces and 150 for outdoor spaces. The social distancing measure of 3 sq.m. for indoor spaces and 2 sq.m. for outdoor spaces per person continues in force in each case, regardless of the area of each establishment.
  • The operation of cinemas, theatres and performing event halls is permitted with a maximum number of 75 persons in indoor spaces and 150 persons in outdoor spaces, subject to the guidelines and protocols in each case.
  • Cocktail parties and congratulating receptions at weddings and christenings is prohibited. Physical presence is only allowed for lunch or dinner, with a maximum number of 350 attending persons.

Due to the significant increase of new cases, on October 12th the MoH announced the extension of the restrictive measures imposed in the district of Larnaca to the districts of Nicosia and Limassol. The measures will be in effect until October 23rd (https://coronavirus.com2go.co/uploads/12102020_1.pdf).

On October 13th, it was announced that all football matches in the district of Nicosia and Limassol will be held without spectators. It was also clarified that it is not allowed to issue and sell tickets for teams based in the districts of Nicosia and Limassol that have away games in other districts (https://coronavirus.com2go.co/uploads/13102020_2.pdf).

On October 14th the MoH announced that the use of a protective face mask by the general population (people aged 12 years and older), is mandatory for all indoor areas where there are two or more persons present (https://coronavirus.com2go.co/uploads/14102020_4.pdf). The same measure is also in effect for: a) all means of public transport, b) construction sites /construction workers: The people working in the construction sector must use disposable masks when moving by car (the number of people in the vehicle should not exceed 2 persons), c) delivery persons and couriers d) elevators.

From this new guideline the following are excluded:
  • Private Houses,
  • Persons who actively drink or eat,
  • Dining areas excluding take-aways,
  • People traveling with their private vehicle,
  • People during exercise / physical activity (e.g. gyms, dance schools, etc.),
  • Roasters/cooks, only during cooking,
  • People with special cognitive needs / mental/developmental disorders who are not capable to use a mask
  • People with severe facial neurological/neuromuscular disfigurations

As a result of the significant increase of the new cases of Covid-19 the last week, a meeting was held on October 17th chaired by the President of the Republic, with the participation of the Ministers of Health, Finance, Education, and Labour as well as the representatives of the Scientific Committee. During the meeting it was decided to extend the restrictive measures currently in force in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol nationwide until October 30th.

Particularly for the district of Limassol where the newest cases were recorded, it was decided to impose a partial lockdown for a period of seven days. During these days catering establishments must close at 22:30 and a curfew will be in effect after 23:30 excluding emergencies.

As of October 6th, the number of countries belonging to Category A-Low-risk countries, has been reduced significantly. Category A countries are 1) Germany, 2) Latvia, 3) Finland 4) Australia, 5) New Zealand, 6) South Korea, 7) Thailand. Category B-Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A are: 1) Denmark, 2) Greece, 3) Estonia, 4) Ireland, 5) Italy, 6) Lithuania, 7) Poland, 8) Sweden9) United Kingdom 10) Iceland, 11) Lichtenstein, 12) Norway 13) Vatican City, 14) San Marino 15) Uruguay, 16) China (including Hong Kong), 17) Japan, 18) Rwanda, 19) Canada, 20) Serbia

(https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/06102020_2.pdf).

Update 28th September 2020

The epidemiological picture of various countries to the COVID-19 has been reassessed by the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/21092020_4.pdf) on September 21st and a new classification of countries has been decided. According to the new classification the number of countries in Category A (Low-risk countries at current stage) has been limited to:
  • European Union Member States: 1) Germany, 2) Latvia, 3) Lithuania, 4) Finland
  • Third Countries: 1) Australia, 2) New Zealand, 3) South Korea, 4) Thailand
Norway, Georgia and Canada have been demoted to Category B along with:
European Union Member States: 1) Belgium, 2) Denmark, 3) Greece, 4) Estonia, 5) Ireland, 6) Italy, 7) Poland, 8) Sweden, 9) Slovakia.
  • United Kingdom
  • Schengen Area Members: 1) Iceland, 2) Lichtenstein.
  • Small States: 1) Vatican City, 2) San Marino.

On September 23rd and due to the increased number of new cases that had been recorded in the previous days in the district of Larnaca, the MoH announced the following additional preventive measures specifically for this area:
  • Restore the restriction on the 10 persons maximum at social gatherings.
  • Restore the restriction on the maximum number of persons in catering establishments to 75 persons indoors and 150 persons outdoors, regardless of the area in square metres.
  • In churches, the attendance of persons is determined on the basis of square metres according to the protocol, but it must never exceed 75 persons.
  • The maximum number of persons (physical presence at a dinner party) who may attend weddings or christenings is set at 350. No cocktail parties are allowed.
  • Football matches and other sport games will continue to take place, without spectators and provided that the relevant protocols are followed.
  • Cinemas and theatres may continue their operation. The maximum number for indoor areas has been set to 75 people and 150 for outside (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/23092020_10.pdf).

Update 14th September 2020

On September 1st the epidemiological profiles of various countries with regard to COVID-19 have been re-evaluated by the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit of the Medical Services and the Public Health Services (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/1092020_5.pdf).

Based on the new evaluation Category A or low-risk countries are:
  • European Union Member States: 1) Germany, 2) Estonia, 3) Latvia, 4) Lithuania, 5) 8) Finland
  • Schengen Area Members: 1) Norway
  • Third Countries: 1) Georgia, 2) Canada, 3) New Zealand, 4) South Korea, 5) Thailand
Category B or countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty when compared to category A are:
  • European Union Member States: 1) Austria, 2) Belgium, 3) Denmark, 4) Greece, 5) Ireland, 6) Italy, 7) Hungary, 8) Poland, 9) Portugal, 10) Sweden, 11) Slovakia, 12) Slovenia, 13) Czech Republic • United Kingdom
  • Schengen Area Members: 1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland, 3) Lichtenstein • Small States: 1) Vatican City, 2) San Marino
  • Third Countries: 1) Uruguay, 2) China, 3) Japan, 4) Australia
All other countries not included in categories A or B are placed in category C and are considered as high risk. Some of these are mentioned below:
  • European Union Member States: 1) Bulgaria, 2) France, 3) Croatia, 4) Luxemburg, 5) Romania, 6) Spain, 7) Malta, 8) Netherlands
  • Small States: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco
  • Third Countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Serbia, 3) Morocco, 4) Montenegro, 5) Rwanda, 6) Tunisia, 7) Russia, 8) Ukraine, 9) Faroe Islands, 10) Egypt, 11) United Arab Emirates, 12) Israel, 13) Lebanon, 14) Qatar, 15) Bahrain, 16) Saudi Arabia.

On September 5th the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a new travel advice urging Cypriot citizens to exercise caution when travelling to countries belonging to Category A (Canada, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway and Thailand) and Category B (Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Uruguay)and to check in advance to make sure they are aware of the entry regulations and other measures that apply in their county of destination (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/8092020_1.pdf).

Regarding all other countries the travel advice is to avoid non-essential travel (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/8092020_2.pdf).

On August 27th following numerous inquiries by members of the public, the MoH announced that the organising of christening or wedding dinner or lunch parties at private houses with more than 50 guests, is permitted provided that the organiser submits a relevant request and obtains the relevant approval by the MoH (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/28082020_1.pdf).

Following many requests by groups and agencies concerning the organization of cultural and/or political events in outdoor spaces, the MoH informed the public that the holding of cultural events (theatre, music and dance performances, visual exhibitions, etc.) and of political events (gatherings of party members or voters, etc.) in open-air venues such as squares, is permitted under the mandatory obligation of following the corresponding guidelines which govern the organising of events in open-air amphitheatres. It should be stressed that in each case the maximum number of persons who may attend such events is 350, who must be seated at all times, and the seats should be placed in accordance with the protocol for open-air venues (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/10092020_1.pdf).

Update 29th August 2020

On August 20th the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a new travel advice asking citizens to exercise caution when travelling to countries belonging to group Α and Β (countries in A category are: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Thailand and countries in B category: Andorra, Belgium, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Holy See, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, San Marino, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Uruguay) and to check in advance to make sure that are aware and well informed about the entry regulations and other measures apply to the country of their destination (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/20082020_3.pdf). Regarding the rest of the countries the travel advice is to avoid any non-essential travelling (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/20082020_4.pdf).

On August 21st, the President of the Republic and the members of the Council of Ministers, having examined the suggestions of the Minister of Health for the management of the pandemic, decided on the following measures which are included in a new Decree that will be in effect until January 15th 2021 (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/21082020_8.pdf):
  1. The maximum number of persons at private gatherings in houses and other mass assembly areas is set at 50.
  2. The maximum number of persons who may attend weddings or christenings dinner parties is set at 350. As regards to the cocktail reception ceremonies, the flow of persons must not exceed 250 per hour, and the guidelines of the relevant protocol must be observed throughout.
  3. The maximum number of customers in catering establishments, which are allowed to function on the basis of Decree No. 28, remains the same, that is, 150 persons indoors and 250 outdoors. The maximum number is calculated on the basis of the open-air area; one person per 2 m2. except employees. Similarly the maximum number of persons in indoor areas is one person per 3 m2. The customers must be served at table seating arrangements while the direct service of customers at the bar is not allowed.
  4. The organizing of fairs, festivals, exhibitions and concerts in places such as stadiums, churchyards, and so forth, is not permitted. The organizing of concerts and theatrical performances at open-air amphitheaters is allowed, provided that the spectators are seated as per protocol which must be strictly adhered to as regards to spatial distancing, the maximum number of persons, ticket selling, etc.
  5. The holding of conferences, general meetings or other similar gatherings, is permissible, provided that the organizers apply the protocols. It should be noted that in case coffee/snacks/cocktails are offered during these events, the maximum number of persons of 50 must be always observed.
  6. Following specific instructions by the Minister of Health, an ad-hoc committee will be set-up with the participation of members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, which will make recommendations for additional provisions and measures for workplaces.

On August 24th the epidemiological picture of various countries with regard to the COVID-19 has been re-evaluated by the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit. According to the announcement, the categorisation of countries which is based on their epidemiological profile, is extremely dynamic and is subject to continuous review and modification as the pandemic evolves and the epidemiological data changes (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/24082020_7.pdf).

The new country categorisation is as follows:

Category A – Low-risk countries at current stage
European Union Member States: 1) Germany, 2) Estonia, 3) Latvia, 4) Lithuania, 5) Hungary, 6) Slovakia, 7) Slovenia, 8) Finland.
Schengen Area Members: 1) Lichtenstein, 2) Norway
Third Countries: 1) Georgia, 2) Canada, 3) New Zealand, 4) South Korea, 5) Thailand

Category B - Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A
European Union Member States: 1) Austria, 2) Belgium, 3) Denmark, 4) Greece, 5) Ireland, 6) Italy, 7) Poland, 8) Portugal, 9) Sweden, 10) Czech Republic
United Kingdom
Schengen Area Members: 1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland.
Small States: 1) Monaco, 2) Vatican City, 3) San Marino.
Third Countries: 1) Rwanda, 2) Uruguay, 3) China, 4) Japan.

Category C – High-risk countries compared to categories A and B.
All countries not included in categories A or B are placed in this category. Some of the countries which are of high risk according to their epidemiological picture, are mentioned below.
European Union Member States: 1) Bulgaria, 2) France, 3) Croatia, 4) Luxemburg, 5) Romania, 6) Spain, 7) Malta, 8) Netherlands
Small States: 1) Andorra.

Third Countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Serbia, 3) Morocco, 4) Montenegro, 5) Australia, 6) Tunisia, 7) Russia, 8) Ukraine, 9) Faroe Islands, 10) Egypt, 11) United Arab Emirates, 12) Israel, 13) Lebanon, 14) Qatar, 15) Bahrein, 16) Saudi Arabia.

Update 17th August 2020

The epidemiological profiles of various countries with regard to COVID-19 were re-evaluated on August 11th by the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit of the Medical Services and the Public Health Services. The evaluation was based on the epidemiological indicators of the countries under review at the time of the review.

According to the new epidemiological indicators, the categorization of countries is now as follows (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/11082020_2.pdf):

Category A - Low risk countries

Category A includes countries with an effective reproduction (Rt) number lower than 1 or/and small number of new diagnoses (<1/100,000 inhabitants per day) or/and small or very small COVID-19 mortality (<5-10/100,000 inhabitants) or/and classification of sporadic cases or clusters of cases according to the WHO or/and at least satisfactory laboratory testing (>3000 tests/100,000 inhabitants. Category A countries include:

  • European Union Member States: 1) Austria, 2) Germany, 3) Denmark, 4) Estonia, 5) Ireland, 6) Latvia, 7) Lithuania, 8) Malta, 9) Hungary, 10) Slovakia, 11) Slovenia, 12) Finland
  • Schengen Area Members: 1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland, 3) Lichtenstein, 4) Norway
  • Third Countries:  1) Georgia, 2) Japan, 3) Canada, 4) New Zealand, 5) South Korea, 6) Thailand

It should be noted that passengers coming from Category A countries are not required to present a laboratory COVID-19 test certificate or to go into self-isolation.

Category B - Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A

Countries included in this category are those with an effective reproduction (Rt) number greater than 1 or/and number of new diagnoses <1/100,000 inhabitants per day or/and increased COVID-19 mortality (>10/100,000 inhabitants) or/and limited laboratory testing (<2000 tests/100,000 inhabitants) or lack of WHO classification. Category B countries include:

  • European Union Member States: 1) Belgium, 2) France, 3) Greece, 4) Spain, 5) Italy, 6) Croatia, 7) Netherlands, 8) Czech Republic 9) Poland 10) Portugal
  • United Kingdom
  • Small States: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San  Marino
  • Third Countries: 1) Australia, 2) Rwanda, 3) Tunisia, 4) Uruguay, 5) China

Passengers arriving to Cyprus from Category B countries will be required to present a negative PCR test undertaken within 72 hours prior their departure. In addition, passengers from Category B countries, falling into the following categories, may carry out the PCR test upon their arrival to the Republic. The cost of the test will be paid by the passenger and all will be obliged to remain in self-isolation at home until the test result is issued:
  a) Cypriot citizens and their family members (spouses, underage children and parents), 
  b) Persons legally residing in the Republic,
  c) Persons under the Vienna Convention,
  d) Persons, regardless of nationality, whose countries of residence do not provide a laboratory testing service (public or private) to those wishing to travel to the Republic of Cyprus according to a relevant announcement.

Category C – High-risk countries compared to categories A and B: All countries not included in categories A or B are placed in this category. Some of the countries which are of high risk according to their epidemiological profile, are mentioned below Category C countries include:

  • European Union Member States: 1) Bulgaria, 2) Portugal, 3) Sweden, 4) Luxembourg, 5) Romania.
  • Third Countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Serbia, 3) Morocco, 4) Montenegro.

In accordance with the Infectious Diseases Decree (No.30) of 2020, the entry into the Republic from category C countries shall be allowed only for specific categories of citizens who have the possibility to choose either to undergo a diagnostic test upon their arrival in Cyprus or have with them a negative PCR test certificate, undertaken within 72 hours prior to departure. It must be noted that such persons shall have to remain in self-isolation for 14 days. Relevant sanitary instructions are available at the following link: https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/info.html).

In an effort to control the incidence of COVID-19 cases through airports, ports and crossing points, the government issued in the late afternoon of August 12th a new Decree according to which passengers arriving from Category C countries should undergo a COVID-19 molecular test 48 hours before the end of their self-isolation, at their own expense. The result of the laboratory test must be sent to [email protected] while the self-isolation can only be terminated if the result of the repeated laboratory test is negative (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/diat/57.pdf).

On July 31st, in light of the continuing spread of coronavirus globally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel advice to Cypriot citizens urging them to exercise caution when travelling to countries belonging to Group A and B and to make sure they are aware of the entry regulations to these countries and other measures that may apply in the county of their destination well in advance. Also, citizens of the Republic of Cyprus who are temporarily located or permanently reside in these countries are advised to be cautious, to follow local and international media for the latest developments regarding COVID-19, to adhere to the relevant instructions of the country’s authorities. With regards to countries that belong in Group C the advice is to avoid non-essential travel (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/31072020_18.pdf).

On July 31st in a meeting that took place in the Presidential Palace with the Epidemiological Team, and due to the increasing new cases of COVID-19 that had been recorded the previous days in Cyprus , the following additional measures were decided with effect on August 1st (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/31072020_16.pdf):
  • It is mandatory for the general population to use a face mask indoors in crowded places (i.e. shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, hospitals, churches, etc.). In case of violation, the penalty is €300. For more details see in Health communication section.
  • The random sampling for tests at the airports has been increased from 600 to 1000 passengers per day, with focus on Cypriot citizens who return from holidays, as it has been shown that a high percentage of cases concerned Cypriots who have travelled abroad.
  • All public and private hospitals as well as nursing homes were advised to strictly apply the visitation regulations and, where possible, visits should be limited to the minimum.
  • The Police has intensified checks on persons who ought to be in self-isolation upon arrival from Category C countries, or because they had been traced as close contacts of coronavirus cases. In coordination with the relevant authorities, daily checks are performed on those persons.
  • Inspections and surveillance of companies, catering establishments and other businesses have also been intensified by the relevant authorities under instructions for zero tolerance.
Regarding the city of Limassol and following the latest local COVID-19 outbreak, in an effort to reduce and dismantle the transmission chains that were identified, the following measures were decided upon and took effect from August 1st, valid for three weeks.
  • Reinstatement of the restriction on the maximum of 10 people at social gatherings.
  • Reinstatement of the restriction on the maximum number of people in catering establishments to 75 persons indoors and 150 persons outdoors, regardless of the venue’s square meters.
  • In churches, the presence of persons is determined on the basis of square meters, but in no case the number will not exceed 75 people.
  • Reinstatement of the limitation of 50% occupancy rate in public transport vehicles (buses).

On August 11th, in a teleconference between the Minister of Health and the Scientific Committee, and after reviewing the situation and evaluating the preliminary findings of the random sampling of 10,000 people it appeared that the spread of the virus in the community was decreasing, it was decided that in Limassol the restriction of a maximum of 10 people at social gatherings will be increased to 50. All other measures remain in effect. In addition, in the same statement the Scientific Committee, advised citizens to avoid mass gatherings (as in such cases the risk for transmitting the virus is high) and also emphasized the need to follow the appropriate protective measures (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/11082020_1.pdf).

Finally, the MoH has issued a press release on August 13th informing and alarming the public that phenomena such as those recorded in other countries with the spread of the virus between people who participated in parties and other similar social gatherings, are observed in recent days in Cyprus, as more and more cases of COVID-19 occur through mass gatherings. The MoH once again called on all citizens to be extremely careful in their social contacts particularly during the summer holiday period where great mobility of citizens is observed. The MoH stresses again the importance of observing social distance measures, as well as the rules of personal protection, such as frequent hand washing with soap and water, use of sanitizers and the use of a mask indoors.

Update 27th July 2020

On July 20th the epidemiological image of various countries with regard to the COVID-19 has been re-evaluated by the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit of the MoH (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/22072020_2.pdf).

The evaluation was based on the epidemiological indicators of the countries, such as: the effective reproduction number R(t) for SARS-CoV-2, the number of new diagnoses, the number of laboratory tests, the mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants, the estimated prevalence and the impact and classification by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, the country classification has been updated as follow:
Category A – Low risk countries at the current stage.
  • European Union Member States:1) Austria, 2) Germany, 3) Denmark, 4) Greece, 5) Estonia, 6) Ireland, 7) Latvia, 8) Lithuania, 9) Malta, 10) Hungary, 11) Poland, 12) Slovakia, 13) Slovenia, 14) Finland.
  • Schengen Area Members:1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland, 3) Lichtenstein, 4) Norway.
  • Third Countries:  1) Japan, 2) Canada, 3) New Zealand, 4) South Korea.

Category B - Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A.
  • European Union Member States:1) Belgium, 2) Bulgaria, 3) France, 4) Spain, 5) Italy, 6) Croatia, 7) Netherlands, 8) Czech Republic.
  • Small States:1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San Marino.
  • Third Countries:1) Algeria, 2) Australia, 3) Georgia, 4) Morocco, 5) Rwanda, 6) Thailand, 7) Tunisia, 8) Uruguay, 9) China.

Category C – Increased risk countries compared to categories A and B.
  • European Union Member States:1) Portugal, 2) Sweden, 3) Luxembourg, 4) Romania.• United Kingdom.
  • Third Countries: 1) Serbia, 2) Montenegro.

Update 15th July 2020

On July 7th the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in light of the continuing global spread of coronavirus COVID-19, issued an announcement according to which Cypriot citizens are advised to avoid non-essential travel to all other countries except those listed in Category A (Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland), and Category B (Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Vatican City (Holy See), Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, and Uruguay) (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/7072020_4.pdf).

Organizing weddings and christenings: On the basis of the positive epidemiological data prevailing in Cyprus, the following have been decided in order to enable those concerned to plan ahead: From August 22nd until September 15th, the maximum number of persons (physically presence at dinner) who may attend weddings or christenings has been set at 350 persons. It is clarified that more details on how these banqueting ceremonies are to be carried out and details on the measures to be observed will be specified in the relevant Protocol that will be issued in due course (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/10072020_2.pdf).

In accordance with the recommendations issued by the WHO and the ECDC, and due to the fact that events such as music concerts, festivals, fairs, etc. carry an increased risk for the spread of the virus, on July 9th the MoH clarified that, although it has been announced that the holding of concerts, festivals, fairs, etc. would be considered after September 1st, no definite decision has been made as to when such events will be allowed to take place. The final decision will be taken by the Government, on the basis of WHO and ECDC guidelines. (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/10072020_2.pdf).

On July 10th the MoH announced that based on guidelines issued by ECDC, workers (e.g. bus and taxi drivers, secretaries, cashiers, etc.) have no longer the obligation to wear gloves. Gloves will still be worn by those professionals who before the pandemic wore gloves as well as those who come in close contact with people positive to COVID-19. Thorough hand hygiene should be followed after removing the gloves (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/10072020_1.pdf).

Update 5th July 2020

The Epidemiological Monitoring and Control Unit for Infectious Diseases of the MoH announced that the epidemiological situation of various countries regarding COVID-19 will be continuously re-evaluated to determine procedures for entry to Cyprus. The evaluation will be based on several epidemiological indicators, such as: the effective reproduction number of R(t) for SARS-CoV-2, the number of new diagnoses, the number of laboratory tests, the mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants, the estimated prevalence and the impact and classification by the World Health Organization (WHO) as these indicators are presented in valid data bases. The last evaluation was performed on July 3rd and the updated country classification can be found here: https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/3072020_3.pdf.

On June 30th, the MoH, after taking into consideration the favourable conditions prevailing in Cyprus the last few days, has decided to review the Protocol concerning the functioning of catering businesses. More specifically, regardless of the size of the premises in square meters, the maximum number of persons who may be served cannot exceed 100 in indoors and 200 in outdoors (the previous limits were 75 and 150 respectively). The above restriction is valid only for the following categories of catering outlets: restaurants, hotels and tourist accommodation, taverns, cafeterias, pizzerias, pubs, snack-bars and bars, coffee shops, canteens or/and refectories of schools, sports clubs, cultural groups, societies, associations etc (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/30062020_3.pdf).

In the same line the MoH decided that from July 1st concerts are permitted in open areas provided these will take place in outdoor theaters with predefined seating arrangements in place. Moreover from July 1st cinemas and theatres will also reopen following the protocols set by the Health Monitoring Unit (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/29062020_10.pdf).

Update 24th June 2020

On June 20th, the second phase of the gradual lifting of prohibitive measures has started and further relaxation of measures for tourists arriving at airports are being applied following their reopening on June 9th. Countries are subject to different measures depending on their categorisation, which is based on epidemiological indicators of the country, such as: the real reproduction number R(t) for SARS-CoV, the number of new diagnoses, the number of laboratory tests, the mortality rate per 100.000 inhabitants, the estimated prevalence and the impact and classification by the WHO, as these indicators appear in valid data bases. Category A (Low risk countries) includes countries with a real reproduction (Rt) number lower than 1 or/and small number of new diagnoses (3000 tests/100.000 inhabitants). Category B (Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A) includes countries with a real reproduction (Rt) number higher than 1 or/and number of new diagnoses 10/100.000 inhabitants) or/and limited laboratory testing. (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/21062020_2.pdf).

The second phase of relaxation of measures for tourists include:
  • Passengers coming from countries belonging to category A should obtain only the Cyprus Flight Pass through the dedicated web electronic platform of the Republic of Cyprus (https://www.cyprusflightpass.gov.cy)
  • Passengers coming from countries belonging to category B in addition to the Cyprus Flight Pass should have to conduct a test for Covid-19 during the last 72 hours before departure and possess a certificate which confirms negative PCR for Covid-19, issued from a certified laboratory.
  • Regarding countries that belong to category C only the following categories of passengers will be permitted to fly to the Republic of Cyprus: 1. Cypriot citizens, permanently residing in the Republic of Cyprus and their family members (non-Cypriot spouses, their children and their parents). 2. Persons legally residing in the Republic of Cyprus and their family members (spouses, their children and their parents). 3. Persons allowed to enter in the Republic of Cyprus under the Vienna Convention 4. Persons, regardless of nationality, having a special permission by the Republic of Cyprus. For these cases the preconditions of category B apply. All details concerning flights to/from the Republic of Cyprus are included in the relevant health safety protocol posted here (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/pdf/f30.pdf):
  • Moreover, for purposes of protecting public health and the monitoring of the epidemiological profile of COVID-19 in Cyprus, random laboratory tests will be conducted on a daily basis to approximately 300 passengers from all flights coming to Cyprus (this will represent about 20% of the daily number of passengers) (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/19062020_4.pdf)
  • On June 19th the Council of Ministers decided to proceed with the opening of crossing points for Cypriot citizens and people residing legally in Cyprus from June 21st.The crossing will be allowed provided that citizens will hold a test negative PCR for Covid-19 conducted within the last 72 hours prior to crossing. Those who have already obtained permit to pass the crossing points from June 5th are excluded from this arrangement. Moreover, the Cyprus authorities will conduct random tests to those passing from the crossing points (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/19062020_5.pdf).
  • On June 19th, in an effort to address the phenomena of disobedience to the measures taken for physical distancing in clubs and entertainment places, the House of Parliament amended the Infectious Diseases Law by imposing harsher punishments/fines for offenders. In addition, the amended Law gives the right to the Police to immediately issue a decree for suspending the operation for those businesses that violate it.

Update 14th June 2020

On June 10th, the Council of Ministers abolished the special arrangements that allowed vulnerable groups of employees working in the public and private sector to work from home as a result of the circumstances created by the coronavirus. As a result, those individuals who worked from home are required to return to their workplace as of June 12th (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/11062020_1.pdf).

On June 10th the MoH, after taking into consideration non-compliance with the Regulations and Protocols by some catering premises, and in an effort to protect public health, has decided to review the Protocol concerning the functioning of those businesses. More specifically, regardless of the area of the premises in square meters, the maximum number of persons who may be served cannot exceed 75 indoors and 150 outdoors. The above restriction is valid only for the following categories of catering outlets: restaurants, hotels and tourist accommodation, taverns, cafeterias, pizzerias, pubs, snack-bars and bars, coffee shops, canteens or/and refectories of schools, sports clubs, cultural groups, societies, associations. In addition, the measure for a maximum number of 10 persons per table will continue to be in force. The above arrangement will be in force until June 30th, whereupon it shall be reassessed on the basis of the epidemiological data (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/11062020_3.pdf).

Update 6th June 2020

On June 3rd the Council of Ministers, in the context of the strategy for the gradual lifting of restrictive measures, has decided to further ease specific restrictions, taking into account the good epidemiological picture of Cyprus (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/3062020_7.pdf). More specifically:
  • Swimming pools are reopening for the public on June 5th
  • As of June 9th, when the 3rd phase gets under way, shopping malls will reopen along with airports and ports, indoor catering services, hotels, open-air theatres and open-air cinemas, sport events without spectators, kindergartens and nurseries, children’s clubs, outdoor children’s playgrounds and summer schools with refectories.
  • Casinos, dancing schools, and schools for other sports, gyms and thematic parks will re-open on June 13th
Regarding the limitation of 10 persons for gatherings, as of June 24th and until July 6th, gatherings will be allowed  of up to 50 people indoors or up to 100 people outdoors, providing the protocols are followed as regards to the ratio of one person per square metre. As of July 7th, public gatherings of up to 75 people indoors or up to 150 people outdoors will be allowed, and as of September 1st, all restrictions on maximum numbers will be lifted (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/4062020_1.pdf).

On June 2nd the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announced that from June 9th, Passenger Transport Companies, as well as all public transport by bus (i.e. Shuttle to and from airports, tourist buses and private buses) will carry passengers equal to 100% of the capacity of their vehicles. The use of a personal protective mask is mandatory for everyone who uses these means of transport (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/2062020_5.pdf).

On June 5th the Ministry of Interior announced that from June 8th, movement to and from the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus will be permitted for the following categories of persons, provided that they present on the first time they cross a certificate of molecular examination for the COVID-19 disease within the las 72 hours, with a negative result. Moreover, random sample tests would be performed for persons crossing from the check-points (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/press/5062020_11.pdf). The decision affects:
  • Turkish Cypriots working in the areas controlled by the Republic
  • Greek Cypriot workers who permanently reside at Pyrgos Tillyrias and work in Nicosia and need to cross the Morphou check-point on a daily basis
  • Turkish Cypriot pupils/students who attend schools or academic institutions in the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus
  • Enclaved people, as well as resettled persons, permanently residing in the occupied areas
  • Cypriot citizens who reside in the occupied areas and receive medical care at the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre, the Institute of Neurology and Genetics and other public or private hospitals in the areas controlled by the Republic. In these cases, a medical certificate issued by a doctor or hospital should be presented
  • Crossing may also be permitted for humanitarian reasons following the discretionary approval of the Minister of the Interior
According to the Decree issued by the Minister of Health on June 5th, the use of protective face mask by employees is made compulsory at the following premises and facilities (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/diat/44.pdf):
  • indoor areas of private businesses which provide service to the public
  • the offices of the Public and wider Public Sector, as well as in the offices of the Local Authorities that serve the public,
  • retail trade businesses,
  • all means of public transportation,
  • construction sites,
  • barber shops, hairdressing salons, beauty centres and tattooing studios,
  • catering businesses,
  • Children play areas and playgrounds,
  • gambling businesses and casinos,
  • libraries, museums, archaeological and historical sites,
  • cinemas, theatres, outdoor performance venues.

Update 31st May 2020

On May 25th, a new decree was issued according to which the ban of flights is extended for another eleven days. The Decree shall enter into force at 00:00 hours of May 29th 2020 (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/26052020_1.pdf).

On the same day, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth reissued instructions concerning the safe operation and proper implementation of all the health protocols (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/25052020_13.pdf).

Regarding the opening of the crossing points, the President of the Republic and the Turkish Cypriot leader have agreed that a teleconference that will take place on June 1st with experts on COVID-19, that will exchange information about the epidemiological situation in the Republic and the occupied areas of the island as well as the views on the gradual lifting of restrictions at the crossing points (http://www.cna.org.cy/WebNews-en.aspx?a=d9ef1caa34c34a85975de48e1028c9cd).

On May 29th the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, after considering the suggestions of the Scientific Advisory Committee, announced that all children attending Special Education Units in primary and secondary schools will be able to return to their schools with an escort, and provided that they have no symptoms related to Covid-19 (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/29052020_4.pdf).

Update 24th May 2020

On May 19th the Council of Ministers, having taken into consideration the recommendations of the scientific advisory committee, has decided upon and affirmed putting into effect the second phase of the easing of restrictions, with some minor modifications. The second phase started on May 21st, and relaxations affect several sectors such as education, freedom of movement, gatherings, church services, outdoor catering services, summer schools, beaches and sports and athletic activities, etc.

According to the Decree of May 20th, outdoor training for the public is allowed for a maximum of ten persons. Also, free movement is allowed in parks (excluding playgrounds), squares, marinas, etc., for a maximum of ten persons. Complete removal of the need for SMS notifications and of the traffic ban between 10 p.m. - 6 p.m. started from May 21st (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/diat/35.pdf). In addition, up to 10 people are allowed to travel on private boats (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/diat/35.pdf). See more details in section 6: Measures in other sectors.

In the Decree of May 23rd, training for athletes is allowed for a maximum of five persons in outdoor sports facilities (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/diat/37.pdf). Also, attendance in churches (including weddings, christenings and funerals), mosques and other religious sites, is permitted, provided that health protocols of the MoH are strictly adhered to (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/pdf/erg27.pdf). Moreover, beaches (including those that are organized) are reopening in compliance with the health protocols of the MoH (see https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/19052020_12.pdf and https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/pdf/erg28.pdf). Find more detail at: https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/diat/35.pdf.

Update 18th May 2020

The Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance announced that inspections continue in order to monitor the compliance of protection measures in retail and construction businesses which have reopened. According to the first results, the compliance in the retail businesses is satisfactory while in the construction sites it is moderate. In the early stages the inspectors will make only recommendations. However, if the violations continue, then the operation of the companies that don’t follow the guidelines set by the government will be suspended (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/12052020_10.pdf)

On the May 13th the MoH announced that the organisation of concerts and festivals will be allowed during the last phase of de-escalation, i.e. after July 14th. This decision will be reassessed shortly before the start of the 4th phase depending on the course of the pandemic (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/press/13052020_6.pdf).

On May 15th the MoH issued decree No. 23, which apart from the details for athletes who can train in open-air facilities, defines that indoor training is allowed only for professional athletes at specific sports facilities indicated by the Cyprus Sports Organization and as long as the participants in the training do not exceed two, including the coach. It is also allowed to conduct written examinations and board meetings of state bodies, only at locations approved by the MoH and provided that the safety and health guidelines are followed. (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/diat/34.pdf).

On May 15th, the Cyprus Football Federation took the decision to discontinue the men’s first division football championship after examining the recommendations of the MoH.

Update 4th May 2020

Due to the progress made and the small number of new confirmed cases recorded, the Council of Ministers, after considering the proposals of the scientific team as well as the recommendations of the European Commission and WHO, has decided on the gradual lifting of restrictions on April 29th. This was planned to be done in 4 phases with each one starting on the dates of 4th and 21st of May, the 9th of June and the 14th of July respectively. On the same day, the President addressed the public for a fourth time, announcing the gradual lifting of restriction measures. More information on decisions and measures are available in Section 4: Governance.

On May 7th the Council of Ministers  approved the proposal made by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works to set up an inter-ministerial committee that will prepare the action plan by the end of May to gradually lift the ban on flights and reopen the two airports in Cyprus (http://www.cna.org.cy/WebNews-en.aspx?a=25672451cd464a6eb7f9fbf17d037ed2).

Regarding the reopening of the crossing points to the Turkish-occupied area, the government will examine the matter in the context of the health measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading and in order primarily to allow Turkish Cypriot employees living in the occupied areas to return to their workplaces in the Republic-controlled areas. (http://www.cna.org.cy/WebNews-en.aspx?a=0e6a2a1c45ff4c498beed3ca95dfa11b). 

In an effort to ensure that all the necessary protective measures are taken by citizens, the MoH, on May 6th, informed the Pancyprian Pharmaceutical Association (PPA) that the State is ready to supply all pharmacies with 1,000,000 masks at cost price. This announcement followed a previous statement by the President of the PPA that there was a shortage of masks in the market. In the same line the MoH decided to provide an additional 300,000 masks to companies that reopened to be distributed to their employees (http://www.cna.org.cy/webnews.aspx?a=172b38e181c549228bd7edb65c191a2a).



The Council of Ministers, in an effort to prevent the further spread of the disease, on February 28th, decided: a) to activate the Crisis Management Centre; b) to temporarily shut down 4 of the 8 crossing points which allow people to cross over from the occupied areas to the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus and vice versa, for more effective control of those passing though; and c) designate government accommodation facilities and various other camping sites as areas to be used for the isolation of suspected cases in the event of a pandemic.

Subsequently and as a result of the deterioration of the situation, the MoH issued updated guidelines on March 6th, 9th, 10th and 12th 2020, with a classification of country risk as well as measures related to traveller obligations. 

On Friday March 13th, the President of the Republic addressed the people of Cyprus on the issue of Coronavirus announcing stricter measures including:
a) The prohibition of entry into Cyprus to any citizen - regardless of nationality - who did not fall into specific categories, effective from March 15th at 01:00. Specific categories of people excluded from this measure included: Cypriot citizens, legal residents in the Republic of Cyprus; European nationals or third-country nationals working in the Republic; nationals of countries who are in a designated diplomatic service or mission under bilateral or international conventions; individual cases of European nationals or third-country nationals for unavoidable professional obligations, provided that the relevant authorization has been obtained from the competent Ministry; and European or third country citizens attending educational institutions in the Republic of Cyprus.
b) As regards the crossing points between the areas controlled by the Republic and the Turkish-occupied areas, entry is permitted only to persons falling into the following categories: (i) Cypriot citizens, (ii) Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots; (iii) Legal residents in the areas controlled by the Republic; (iv) nationals of countries who belong to a designated diplomatic service or mission under bilateral or international conventions. 

The President also called on the public to stay at home and avoid mass gatherings, the use of public transportation and close contact with other persons, particularly individuals who belong to vulnerable groups, and who are also requested to stay at home in isolation for the foreseeable future and restrict non-essential visits. Although restrictions on mass gatherings were not formally implemented, sports bodies and entertainment venues decided to suspend such events.

On March 15th, the President of the Republic, following a meeting of the Council of Ministers made an official statement announcing new stricter measures for protecting the population from a further spread of the disease, which included:
  • Entry into the Republic of Cyprus will be granted only to those who, upon arrival, present a medical certificate certifying that they had tested negative for coronavirus by a certified medical centre. Those who fulfil the condition will then be placed under a 14-day compulsory quarantine at an accommodation facility designated by the Republic of Cyprus.
  • The decision applies also to those who use the crossing points between the government-controlled areas and the occupied areas, excluding those for humanitarian reasons and following approval by the Minister of Interior.
  • Cypriot students who opt to remain in the country of their study will be granted a one-off €750 allowance. This decision will remain in effect until April 30th, 2020.
  • With regard to the public sector, all Ministers have been instructed to draw up an operational emergency plan, encouraging civil servants to work from home. More specifically the public service and the wider public sector, for the upcoming month, as of March 17th, will work from their homes where possible, serving only the necessary and urgent cases.

On March 17th, it was announced by the MoH that as from March 21st and for the next 14 days, all flights to the two airports of Cyprus are prohibited, except for those carrying goods (cargo flights). During these 14 days of passenger flight prohibition, entry to Cyprus will be allowed only to citizens who had travelled abroad for medical reasons, or for business or professional reasons and for a short stay, and to those allowed to enter the country in accordance to the Vienna Treaty. On April 2nd, it was decided that the flight prohibition would be extended for another 14 days, effective from April 4th.

In relation to the issue of church attendance, the Archbishop of Cyprus made a statement encouraging people to stay at home and watch the religious service from the television.

Classes in the public and private educational institutions of the country have all been suspended since March 11th and until April 10th. During the period of suspension of the operation of all public and private schools, the Minister of Education and Culture has been authorized to implement alternative methods, via distance learning technologies in order to respond to educational needs and cover part of the educational curriculum, for as long as schools will be closed.

In accordance with a decision taken by the Council of Ministers on March 15th, as of 06:00 on March 16th for a duration of four weeks, the closure of the following businesses is mandatory: 
  • Shopping Malls and Department Stores • Cafes, restaurants, bars and all catering companies with the exception of those that offer home delivery services • Night clubs • Cinemas and theatres • Libraries • Museums, archaeological and historical sites • Gambling agencies, casinos, etc. • Sports facilities, sports clubs, cultural groups and associations • Thematic Parks (amusement parks, etc.)
• Barber shops, hairdressers, beauty-massage centres. As long as these businesses follow all hygiene rules, they may carry out administrative and other works behind closed doors.

In addition to the series of measures taken by the Government that aim to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect Public Health, the Minister of Health issued a new Decree that came into force on March 21st, setting special working hours for supermarkets and pharmacies during which vulnerable groups of citizens such as people over 60 years age and people with disabilities will be served. It was also strictly stated that the presence of persons, including the working personnel, in the service area of the shop should not exceed one person per 8 square metres.

On March 23rd the President of the Cyprus Republic, addressed the public for a third time, announcing the following measures:
  • Prohibition of unnecessary movement, in force from 18:00 on March 24th until April 13th 2020, except for specific cases, including: travelling to or from work; obtaining basic necessities from businesses or shops whose operation is allowed; and visiting a health care professional or pharmacy. All persons must have their identification and a statement of the reason for leaving their houses.
  • Furthermore, since March 24th until April 13th, the following places will also be closed: parks, playgrounds, open-air sport locations, public gathering areas, such as squares, excursion sites, beaches and marinas.
  • All retailers shall suspend their operations, except those included in a relevant Decree issued by the Minister of Health.
  • Open markets, bazaars and itinerant sales are also prohibited.
  • Work on construction sites shall be terminated, except construction works relating to public utility projects and subject to the relevant permission from the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works.
  • It is prohibited for citizens to attend places of religious worship, such as churches, mosques and other places for prayer.

A fine of €150 was imposed for those found to violate these measures.

As from 18:00 March 24th and until midnight of April 13th the distance that must be adhered to by citizens during their visits at cash desks in stores, and in queues waiting outside the stores has been decided. The owners of the facilities  have the responsibility to implement the rule.

Despite the penalties, many citizens continued to violate the law and on March 30th the Minister of Health announced even more restrictive measures such as the complete prohibition of citizen movement between 21:00 and 06:00, limiting movement outside the home to only once a day for all citizens, prohibition of gatherings in homes other than family members, closing grocery stores on Sundays, and increased the fine for those found to violate the measures to €300.

Update 18th April 2020

In an effort to support Cypriot students studying abroad, the Foreign Minister had telephone contact with the President of the Pancyprian Federation of Student Unions and the heads of the National Cypriot Students Associations in several cities in Europe. Following the discussions, it was announced that:
  • From the 29th March, the UK National Federation of Cypriots will launch a program, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to send a package of basic foodstuffs, containing mainly Cypriot products, to students in the UK. Students who are in the UK and wish to receive the package at their address may submit the required information through https://cypriotfederation.org.uk/studentfood/.
  • From the 31st March, a special online platform will be launched through which all Cypriot citizens abroad, including students, will be invited to register so as to facilitate direct communication with them, in order to update them on important issues that concern them. On the same day the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the cooperation with a network of doctors to respond to the medical needs of Cypriot citizens currently abroad. In addition, it was decided that Cypriot students overseas who are in need of medication which they may not be able to obtain locally in their countries of residence, may apply for assistance at [email protected] or by calling +357 22 801000. In cases where these difficulties are substantiated, every effort will be made to dispatch these medicines from Cyprus. The MoH announced that until the 8th April, 42 requests for medication were satisfied.
  • On Tuesday 8th March the President of the Republic, following a meeting of the Council of Ministers made an official statement announcing an extension, until the 30th April, of all measures taken, either by the Minister of Health or by other competent Ministers.
Regarding the repatriation of Cypriot citizens, in addition to categories for which repatriation to Cyprus has commenced, the government has agreed the gradual return of those who belong in the following categories:
    (i) Overseas students staying in university dormitories and who are enrolled in Foundation Courses, or are in the first year of undergraduate studies.
    (ii) Persons permanently residing in the Republic of Cyprus who are presently abroad for purposes of temporary employment and whose employment has been suspended or terminated due to COVID-19.
    (iii) Persons permanently residing in the Republic of Cyprus, who are presently abroad, and whose return is deemed necessary for humanitarian reasons, such as: provision care to dependent persons due to injury, following the implementation of the Covid-19 decrees or any other invalidity limiting their capacity to self-serve; organ recipients or donors, who are called for urgent transplantation; unaccompanied minors.

Entry to the Republic of Cyprus will also be allowed to persons, regardless of nationality, whose assistance, due to their professional or scientific capacity, is deemed necessary in the efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the 4th  April, the Ministry of Labour announced the extension of all measures that have been taken targeting special population groups in order to protect the elderly and vulnerable groups of citizens.  These measures include: a) prohibition of visitations at all homes for the elderly and long-term care facilities; b) continuing of provision of homecare services provided all conditions announced by the MoH are met; c) permission for residents to exit the facilities will be granted only when deemed absolutely necessary and provided all conditions announced by the MoH are met. These guidelines were updated on the 11th of April, including the compulsory daily measurement of the body temperature of all the personnel as well as the residents of Old People Homes.

On the 3rd April the MoH announced that businesses still in operation are obliged to disinfect their premises after the end of each working day. Τhe MoH has also announced specific guidelines for this disinfection procedure.
 
Finally, the new quantitative data for Covid-19 cases in Cyprus, as at  April 26th, were as follows: 48,325 tests, 817 confirmed cases (10 of which at the British sovereign bases), and 14 deaths. In the occupied areas, press reports indicate that from 9,009 tests, the number of confirmed cases are 108, with four deaths. Although there is co-operation between the Republic of Cyprus and the occupied areas through the Bi-communal Health Committee, it is difficult to assess and evaluate the situation and the measures taken in these areas.