Policy responses for Cyprus - HSRM

Cyprus


Policy responses for Cyprus

1.2 Physical distancing

Update 18th May 2021

On April 24th, the Council of Ministers, after taking into consideration the severe spread of the virus in the community and subsequent pressure on hospitals (around 300 people with Covid-19 were hospitalized at that time) decided for a third time the implementation of a new strict lockdown. The measures were in force for two weeks starting from April 26th until May 9th, and were as follows:
  1. Movement was prohibited from 21:00 until 05:00 except for the following reasons: a) Moving to and from the workplace and for work purposes using the “Confirmation for Employee’s Movement” Form. b) Going to a Medical Centre or a Hospital or a pharmacy or a veterinarian.
  2. Meetings, public gatherings or social events, irrespective of venue (private or public space), indoors or outdoors (e.g. squares, dams, picnic areas, marinas) were prohibited.
  3.Only one movement was allowed per person per day via a text message request.
  4. During the Holy Week (the week before the Greek Orthodox Easter), the presence of up to 50 people was allowed inside the churches, provided that all attendees were vaccinated with at least one dose and at least three weeks prior. People were also allowed in the courtyard of the churches, with the provision that the social distancing and the health protocols applicable to the operation of the churches were observed.
  5. Remote work in the public service was a compulsory for at least 20% of the staff, with the exception of essential and other services, which had been defined by a Decree.
  6. The operation of all restaurants was suspended, with the exception of the services related to delivery and take away.
  7. The operation of open and closed theatres, amphitheatres, cinemas, event venues, gyms, dance schools and other sports schools, barber shops, hair salons and beauty institutes was also suspended. More detailed information about the measures can be found at (23042021_dilosiYpYgeiasEN.pdf (pio.gov.cy)

On May 5th, the Council of Ministers, as a result of the improvement of the country’s epidemiological picture and taking into consideration that 30% of the population has already been vaccinated with at least one dose, had decided to gradual lift the restrictive measures starting from May 10th in order for the country to safely return to normality. A new measure was introduced for the first time with the relevant Decree stating that the mandatory use of a Safepass, in order to visit crowded places such as restaurants, malls, etc. The responsibility for checking for the possession of a Safepass lies only with the Police or the competent Ministries/Departments. In order to possess a Safepass citizens should have either a) negative test (PCR /rapid), carried out within the last 72 hours, b) have been vaccinated with at least one dose at least 3 weeks prior or (c) were infected with coronavirus during past six months. (05052021_Island wide measures EN.pdf (pio.gov.cy).

The Safepass is required at the following places/areas:
Indoor areas of places of religious worship, indoor theatres, cinemas and performance halls, Shopping centres and retail businesses of over 5002 meters which trade a wide variety of products. Events such as weddings, christenings and funerals, provided that they are taking place in indoor venues, such as places of religious worship, Town Halls, District Administration offices, etc, indoor gyms, dance schools and other sports indoor training facilities, as well as specific sports facilities as these are defined in the guidelines of the Cyprus Sport Organisation, Senior People’s homes, nursing homes, accommodation facilities for the chronically ill and other closed structures , hotels and tourist accommodation venues for overnight stays and use of indoor areas and facilities, pre-election gatherings in indoor areas, conferences and trade exhibitions that take place in indoor venues and casinos (14052021_neametraasof17MayEN.pdf (pio.gov.cy).

Regarding the relaxation measures from May 10th until May 16th movement permission is extended to 23:00 and as of May 17th to 24:00. The requirement to make a text message request for movement is stopped.

In addition:
  1. Gatherings in public places (parks, squares, dams, picnic areas, beaches, pedestrian streets and marinas, etc.) are allowed, provided that they do not exceed 10 persons, including children. The presence of up to 10 persons is allowed in private residences, including children.
  2. Education continues with physical presence. Both school staff and students of Gymnasiums, Lyceums and Technical Schools must undergo a mandatory rapid test on a weekly basis. For primary school students, a weekly rapid test is optional.
  3. All events such as holding lunches / dinners and other events for weddings and christenings are allowed following the relevant protocols, with mandatory possession of a Safepass. The operation of all outdoors catering establishments (restaurants, taverns, cafeterias, pubs, snack-bars and bars, coffee shops and catering areas within malls, canteens or/and sports clubs, cultural clubs, associations, societies etc.) is also allowed, provided customers hold a Safepass. The operation of gyms, dance schools and other sports academies is allowed, as they were in effect until 30 April 2021, with mandatory possession of a Safepass s by persons exercising indoors.
  4. Staying at hotels is also allowed from May 10th, with mandatory possession of a Safepass Pre-election events are allowed provided that the capacity of the event’s venue is observed, and the attendees are seated with mandatory possession of a Safepass.
  5. On the other hand, the operation of beauty centres and hairdressing salons is allowed on the basis of the Protocol, without a Safepass. There is no need for Safepass s in case of going to the beach, to picnic areas, dams and zoos.
  6. Regarding religious attendance: (a) mass and other forms of religious worship shall be performed with mandatory possession of a Safepass and with a maximum number of 50 persons until May 16th (b) from May 17th the presence of congregants is allowed with a maximum physical presence of 30% of the capacity of the places of religious worship, with mandatory possession of a Safepass, (c) from  June 1st, the presence of congregants is allowed with a maximum physical presence of 50% of the capacity of the places of religious worship, with mandatory possession of a Safepass (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/pdf/05052021_METRA_EN.docx.pdf)
  7. In public services as well as private service providing businesses, teleworking is mandatory as of May 17th, excluding the Essential Services (ensuring physical presence, to the extent possible) with a maximum number of physical presence of 50%.
  8. The operation of open-air and indoor theatres, amphitheatres, cinemas and performance halls is allowed, (a) with a maximum number of 50 persons until May 17th and then after at 30% of the indoors capacity and at 50% of the outdoors capacity and from June 1st the use of indoor capacity is increased to 50%. In all the cases the possession of a Safepass is mandatory.

Mass events, demonstrations, parades, concerts, open-air fairs, festivals in public or private places, remain prohibited. The operation of night clubs, discos, clubs, music and dancing venues remains suspended.

The last epidemiological risk assessment of countries, dated 10/05/2021 can be found here: (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/10052021_Epidemiological%20risk%20assessment%20of%20countries_EN.pdf).

Regarding passengers who arrive in Cyprus and are holding a valid certificate of vaccination against Covid-19, regardless of their nationality and country of departure, will be exempted from the obligation of laboratory testing and self-isolation/quarantine (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/08052021_passengersEN.pdf).

Update 30th March 2021

On March 30th the Council of Ministers, following a reassessment of the situation had decided to proceed with further relaxations that include:

  1. Re-opening, on April 2nd, of Primary Schools in the District of Limassol and of Gymnasiums island-wide, with the physical presence for students, provided they present a negative rapid antigen test.
  2. Increase of the maximum number of persons allowed, regardless of age, in private tutoring and private educational institutions to seven persons, including the instructor.
  3. Following consultation between representatives of the Ministries of Education and Health and the Scientific Advisory Committee with organised interested bodies, a program will be drawn up in the near future for nasal rapid antigen testing in the upper stage of primary schools (4th, 5th and 6th grade).
  4. Individual sports/championships are allowed in outdoor facilities, in accordance with the guidelines of the Cyprus Sports Organization and the MοΗ (e.g., shooting, athletics, cycling, etc.).
  5. Increase in the current number of persons allowed in swimming centres and gyms, on the basis of the protocol of the Cyprus Sports Organization and the MοΗ.
  6. The presence and stay of customers in outdoor areas of gambling and betting shops is allowed, provided that they are served only while seated and according to protocol.
  7. The per day maximum permissible number of SMS text messages for movement purposes per citizen is increased to three on Saturdays and Sundays. It is underlined that for the rest of the week only two SMS text messages are permitted.

Source: (31032021_dilosihealthministerEN.pdf (pio.gov.cy)

Regarding travelling, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announced that as of April 1st all passengers who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and hold a valid Certificate from the Republic of Cyprus, upon their arrival in Cyprus, irrespective of the country from which they are travelling, will not be subject to self-isolation and mandatory testing

Source: (31032021_ypmetaforonEN.pdf (pio.gov.cy).

Finally, the latest epidemiological risk assessment of countries concerning COVID-19, dated 05.04.2021 can be found on: https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/05042021_epidemiological_assessmentEN.pdf

Update 14th March 2021

On March 12th the Council of Ministers taking into consideration the increasing burden of the epidemiological picture and the views of the Committee for the Psychological Support of Citizens from the effects of the pandemic, decided to put the following measures in place, which are based on two pillars:

a) First pillar: (period March 16th-31st): Targeted measures in indoor areas with increased clusters of cases and a high transmission risk (offices, primary schools, residences etc.) in an attempt to curb the spreading in such areas:
     i) The 25% for service-providing businesses is reinstated with a readjustment of the weekly rapid test surveillance programme to cover the 25% of the employees of such businesses and a simultaneous reinforcement of inspections.
     ii) Taking into consideration that children are carriers with an increased risk of transmission/dispersion as well as with delayed detection as they are mostly asymptomatic, along with an inability to impose the diagnostic tests due to their young age, and given the fact that many clusters of positive cases were recorder in the Primary Schools of the Limassol district, it has been decided to suspend their operation, with physical presence, until March 31st.
     iii) The suspension of operation with physical presence of Gymnasiums, across Cyprus, has been extended until March 31st in order to contain the outbreak of more cases.
 
b) Second pillar: Measures aimed at increasing citizens’ compliance while promoting their psychological recovery:
     i) As of March 15th, access to squares and parks has been allowed for up to 6 persons with the mandatory use of a facemask for persons from different households.
     ii) As of March 16th, the outdoor areas of catering establishments have reopened on the basis of a strict protocol while the curfew time has been extended from 21:00 to 23:00 (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/12032021_YpYgeiasdilosiEN.pdf)

Update 11th March 2021

The gradual relaxation of physical distancing measures has continued during March. Since March 1st the following were decided (25022021_HealthMinisterEN.pdf (pio.gov.cy):
  1. Re-opening of public and private Lyceums and Technical Schools for 1st and 2nd Grade students, with physical presence (the reopening of all levels of public and private gymnasiums with physical presence scheduled start on March 8th).
  2. Re-opening of conservatories, tutoring schools, educational centres, and other afternoon facilities, with physical presence of up to two people including the teacher (1 student and 1 teacher).
  3. Re-opening of art exhibitions and galleries, according to the guidelines and the health protocol of the Ministry of Health.
  4. Re-opening of gyms, dance schools and other indoor sports facilities, including swimming pools, based on the instructions and the protocol to be issued by the Cyprus Sports Organization.
  5. Visits to Senior People’s Homes are allowed, under the conditions set by the protocol of the Ministry of Labour.
  6. Team training and matches of professional Division C championships are allowed, under the conditions that apply to professional Division A and B championships and according to the protocols of the Cyprus Football Association and the Cyprus Sports Organization.
  7. Access to nature trails for physical exercise is allowed.
  8. Street vending and flea markets other than food is allowed.

In addition, and for planning purposes, it was also announced that, as of March 16th, it is expected that inter alia, catering establishments will re-open on the basis of a special protocol.
However, during the last days of February and early days of March, there was a sharp increase in the number of new cases, most of which were related to schools. Therefore, the MoH announced that the reopening of all levels of public and private gymnasiums with physical presence has been moved to March 16th.

Regarding travelling from other countries, the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit of the MoH is constantly evaluating the epidemiological image of various countries with regard to the COVID-19. The evaluation is based on specific 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 WHO. For more information about the countries’ classification see the relevant link 17022021_epidemiologicalassessmentEN.pdf (pio.gov.cy).

Update 8th February 2021

On January 27th the Minister of Health announced that as a result of the three-week-lock-down there was an improvement in the epidemiological picture, which allowed the gradual de-escalation of restrictive measures (27012021_MinofHealth_IntroStatement_revised.pdf (pio.gov.cy).

The strategy for the gradual easing of restrictive measures is based on the three pillars ‘testing – tracing – vaccination’, taking into account the ECDC recommendations for close monitoring of virus mutations, which are of great concern at a European level.
Based on these, it was decided from February 1st to re-open the barbershops, hair salons and beauty salons, as well as to increase from 25% to 50% of the personnel with physical presence in private businesses.

In addition, from February 8th, the following also entered into force:
  1. Re-opening of public and private primary schools, Lyceums and Technical Schools for 3rd Grade students only.
  2. Re-opening of retail shops, including department stores and shopping centres.
  3. Re-opening of betting shops, only for the purpose of completing the voucher, without the use of tables and seating arrangements.
  4. Re-opening of museums and other archaeological sites.
  5. The religious worship may be held with the presence of congregants with a maximum number of 50 people, in compliance with the health protocols.
  6. Increase in the number of people in house gatherings, to four persons visiting.

Update 11th January 2021

On January 10th, Cyprus entered for a second time in a three –week lockdown as a result of the worsening epidemiological picture and the rapid spread of the virus in the community. The new measures included the following (8012021_diloseisYPygeiasEN.pdf (pio.gov.cy):
  • Daily curfew from 21:00 to 05:00.
  • Prohibition of meetings, public or social events.
  • Any movement of citizens is allowed only by sending text message and up to two messages per day.
  • Compulsory teleworking in the public and wider public sector and local government with the exception of Essential Services.
  • Religious worship performed without the physical presence of the public.
  • The private enterprises/services that remain in operation will promote teleworking, following the regulation for simultaneous physical presence of 15% of their staff, with a maximum number of employees who may be physically present at 20 persons per professional premise.
  • Teaching at all education levels will to be carried out through distance learning.

Update 31st December 2020

The Council of Ministers convened on December 22nd to consider the burden on the health care system due to the increasing cases and numbers of hospitalizations per day as well as the psychosocial factors of fatigue amongst the society and reached to the following decisions:
  • Extension of all the measures announced on December 9th until January 10th. In the meantime, the situation will be constantly monitored by the Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • On December 24th (Christmas eve) there will be a relaxation of the measures with movement to be allowed until 23:00 while on December 31st (New Year’s Eve) the extension will be until 01:00.
  • The maximum number of persons that can be gathered in homes will still be 10 (including the children).
  • The need to attend church mass is acknowledged and as a result the Christmas day and Epiphany day masses will be allowed to take place with the presence of a maximum number of 75 people.

Due to the mutation of the virus, which is now 70% more contagious and the increased number of cases of the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been reported in the UK and in an effort to safeguard Public Health, for precautionary reasons and until new clarifications are made by the scientific community, all passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos Airports from UK, as of December 21st will be transferred to designated hotels for a compulsory 7-day self-isolation. Persons under the age of 18 may self-isolate at their homes. On the 7th day of the self-isolation, they will undergo a PCR test and if the result is negative, they will be able to continue their self-isolation at home for another 3 days (total self-isolation days: 10). On the 10th day and provided no symptoms occur, they will be allowed to release themselves from self-isolation (21122020_passengersfromUK_EN.pdf (pio.gov.cy)).

Finally, due to the adverse epidemiological situation that has been observed in Cyprus lately, on December 29th the MoH announced further stricter measures in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus in the community (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/29122020_newmetra_ENGL.pdf). More specifically:

The presence of persons other than those living in the home is prohibited, until January 10th 2021. Exceptions are granted for the following purposes:
  • For providing care to minors and persons with disabilities in the case that the physical presence of parents is necessary at their workplace.
  • For the purpose of helping people who are unable to help themselves (medication, care of individuals, supply of food, etc).
At the same time, for the purposes of decongesting and limiting the possibility of transmission of the virus to workplaces, from December 30th, 2020, and until January 10th, 2021, the public and wider public sector shall function with the necessary personnel in offices, for providing services to the public for emergency issues. The rest of the personnel will be working from home.

On December 22nd, the Minister of Health announced that the restrictive measures imposed on December 9th 2020, will be extended until January 10th 2021 due to the continuous increase of positive cases, as well the increased number of patients that were hospitalised, (on average 110 – 130 patients on a daily basis, while the number of intubated patients in the intensive care units remained very high), burdening even more the Health Care System, (22122020_ypygeias_engl.pdf (pio.gov.cy).

Update 7th December 2020

On November 27th the Council of Ministers announced a series of additional emergency measures that will take effect from November 30th to December 13th.The decision was based on the fact that despite the decrease in new cases in the district of Limassol, the situation is epidemiologically unstable, while at the same time a rise in new cases was recorded in all other districts except Paphos (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/Statement%20by%20the%20Minister%20of%20Health,%20Mr%20Constantinos%20Ioannou,%20on%20the%20Government’s%20decisions%20to%20address%20the%20pandemic.pdf).

Therefore, the measures that were already in force in Limassol and Paphos, have been extended to an island-wide basis with some variations. The prohibition of movement of persons from and to the districts of Limassol and Paphos has been revoked.
Moreover, the Council of Ministers announced that if the epidemiological situation improved, they would proceed with the easing of measures across the whole of Cyprus, beginning from the December 14th until January 7th 2021.

On December 3rd the Council of Ministers announced changes to the country categorisation followed so far, in order to be harmonised with the classification made by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The new country classifications are: (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/3120202_ptiseisYpMetaforon.pdf):

  i. Category A is replaced by Green Category, in which there will be no restrictions, a practice that still applies today.
  ii. Category B is replaced by Category Orange, which will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure, a practice that is still valid today.
  iii. Category C is replaced by Category Red, which will require double laboratory analysis, ie negative PCR laboratory analysis within 72 hours before departure and another PCR laboratory analysis upon arrival in Cyprus. No self-isolation / quarantine measures apply in this category.

The following countries will be classified as separate subgroups within the Green, Orange and Red categories:
  i. European Union countries
  ii. European Economic Area countries including the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
  iii. Countries on the European Council's list of third countries
  iv. Third countries (Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Belarus)
  iv. All other countries will be classified in the Special Permit Category (Gray) in which passengers must submit a laboratory PCR analysis within 72 hours before departure. In this category will be applied self-isolation / quarantine measures which will be in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health.

Update 17th November 2020

On November 4th the President of the Republic addressed the citizens, informing them about the new stricter measures that would be enforced in order to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and asked one more time for their patience and cooperation. The measures are categorized into three groups:

Category A medium-term measures across Cyprus for the period 5th November 2020 – 15th January 2021 that mandates the continuing mandatory use of facemasks by the general population, aged 12 years and above, in indoor and outdoor areas, special opening hours for people aged 65 years or over for food and beverage retail businesses and pharmacies, limits of 150 guests for weddings and funerals, maximum nuumber of participants of 250 persons at conferences which must also follow social diistancing regulations and 50% capacity limits for cinemas, theatres and other performance venues;

Category B. Extraordinary measures in force from November 5th until November 30th 2020 which apply for the whole island and mandate a maximum number of 10 people who can meet in households/groups indoors (excluding catering venues), restrictions on opening hours of catering venues which must close at 22:30 (excluding those at Larnaka and Paphos airports), a maximum number of 75 persons in indoor areas and to 150 persons in outdoor areas in catering establishments with individual groups of a maximum of 6 in these venues, a curfew between 23:00 until 05:00 except for emergency medical reasons (pharmacy and medical facility) or for work purposes (mainly persons in essential services) by presenting a relevant certification or documentation, a maximum of 75 persons allowed in places of worship, no spectators allowed at sports events, maximum numbers allowed in playgrounds (50 persons in indoor playgrounds and 150 persons in outdoor playgrounds) and the closure of gym changing areas.

Category C. Extraordinary measures for the Districs of Limassol and Paphos due to the high number of infections in these areas in force from November 5th to November 16th 2020 that ban sports and social activities for people under 18 years of age, closure of children’s playgrounds, suspension of gyms. Teleworking/working from home and remote meetings where possible have also been recommended, or the separation or grouping of staff and separate breaks to limit contact with each other (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/4112020_IntroductorystatementMinofHealth.pdf).

On November 11th the President of the Republic addressed the public for a second time in a week, emphasizing that the epidemiological indicators were worsening especially in the districts of Limassol and Paphos and explaining that further measures had to be taken including a mini-lockdown for the districts of Limassol and Paphos. He also explained that the new measures were aligned with the guidelines issued by the WHO and the ECDC concerning high-risk places and regions.

On November 4th the MoH announced the updated categories of citizens with risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19 who can optionally work from home or work from places where they do not interact with the public, while maintaining the precautionary measures provided for in the sanitary protocols (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/4112020_katigoriespoliton_ENGL.pdf

On November 6th 2020 the epidemiological profiles of various countries with regard to the COVID-19 were 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/uploads/6112020_epidemiologicalrisk_ENGL.pdf
).

The new country categorisation is as follows:

Category A (Low-risk countries at current stage): 1) Australia, 2) Japan, 3) New Zealand, 4) South Korea, 5) Singapore, 6) Thailand, all of which are third countries.

Category B (Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A):
  •European Union Member States: 1) Germany, 2) Denmark, 3) Greece, 4) Estonia, 5) Latvia, 6) Lithuania, 7) Sweden, 8) Finland.
  •United Kingdom
  •Schengen Area Members: 1) Norway
  •Small States: 1) Vatican City, 2) San Marino
  •Third Countries: 1) Uruguay, 2) China (including Hong Kong), 3) Rwanda, 4) Serbia

Update 2nd November 2020

On October 23rd and following the rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 cases during the last 14 days, and the spread of the virus in the community, the Council of Ministers decided the following measures to control and prevent further spread of the virus. These measures concern all areas of Cyprus, and will remain in force until November 9th 2020 (https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/22102020_ENapofaseisypourgikou.pdf).

More specifically:
  1. The maximum number of persons allowed to gather in houses and public places, except for catering establishments, is set at 10 per house/group, including children.
  2. The maximum number of persons allowed to be served in catering establishments is set at 75 in indoor areas and 150 in outdoor areas. The social distancing measure of 3 sq.m. per person for indoor areas and 2 sq.m. for outdoor areas, irrespective of the area of each establishment in square metres, continues to be in force.
  3. The maximum number of persons per table reservation in catering establishments may not exceed the 6 persons.
  4. Church services as well as other religious activities and ceremonies shall be performed in accordance with the guidelines of the Church of Cyprus.
  5. The games and matches in sport facilities in the context of athletic championships is allowed without spectators’ presence, provided that the relevant protocols are complied with.
  6. The operation of cinemas, theatres and performance halls is allowed at 50% of their capacity.
  7. Cocktail parties and congratulating receptions at weddings and christenings are prohibited. Physical presence is only allowed at lunch or dinner with a maximum number of 350 persons.
  8. The use of face masks by the general population aged 12 years and above is made compulsory in all outdoor public places.

In addition, and on account of the deteriorating epidemic situation and the increased epidemiological load in the cities and districts of Limassol and Paphos, and having taken into consideration the latest data showing that in the Limassol district the cumulative impact is 180 persons per 100,000, that is, over the 150 persons which is the threshold set by the ECDC for placing an area within the red zone as well as the cumulative impact in the Paphos district in the last 14 days showing an increasing trend exceeding the 80 persons per 100, 000, the following additional measures have also been decided:
  1. The operation of catering places (restaurants, catering areas in hotels and other tourist accommodations, taverns, cafeterias, pizzerias, pubs, snack-bars, bars, coffee shops and catering areas in canteens or/and sports clubs, cultural circles, societies, associations, etc.) is allowed until 22:30. It is clarified that these establishments may well provide delivery services after 22:30.
  2. The movement of citizens is banned from 23:00 until 05:00, excluding necessary movement for emergency medical reasons (to/from a pharmacy, hospital) or for work purposes by presenting a relevant certification or documentation.
  3. All afternoon sports and social activities for children under 18 years of age, are suspended (e.g. football, dancing, swimming, martial arts, theatre, choir singing, etc.).
  4. Championship matches for athletes under 18 who are based in the districts of Limassol and Paphos, are suspended. In addition, if a team based in the district of Limassol or Paphos is playing with a team in the Nicosia district, the match shall be also suspended until the measures are lifted.

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.