"Proud of the responsibility of the political forces, the excellence of the scientists, the health professionals but also for the admirable discipline of the citizens. Thanks to the efforts of all, our small country becomes a reference country for the success of another crisis," said President Anastasiadis.
I will not tire of repeating, however, that any progress or the risk of regression depends on everyone's behavior, "he said.
"In my April 16 speech, I literally said, 'In recent days, messages have raised hopes, but they do not signal the end. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go.' Today I will repeat with the same persistence. Unfortunately, the progress that continues to be made allows us to implement the first phases of the strategy we have adopted for the gradual easing of restrictive measures, "said President Anastasiadis.
The unknown nature of the virus does not allow us to be complacent, the President stressed. "It is no coincidence that we are reluctant to accept a number of requests from business representatives. Countries that have adopted de-escalation measures, downplaying the risks, are recording a new outbreak of setbacks and a setback from the successful course they initially took," he added.
The first two phases of implementing the strategy for the gradual lifting of restrictions begin on May 4, 2020 and end on June 8, 2020. Everything will depend and are completely intertwined with the epidemiological course.
A. Department of Economics
(i) As of May 4, restrictions on the construction sector and all similar business activities supporting it will be lifted.
(ii) All retail businesses reopen, except for shopping malls and department stores. It is understood that their operation will be governed by safety and health protocols as determined by the relevant Ministries of Labor and Health.
(iii) Public markets, street vendors and bazaars are reopened, always subject to the relevant instructions of the Ministry of Health.
(iv) Tourist and travel agencies are reopening.
B. Public Sector
From May 4, full operation of the Public and wider Public Sector, with the return of all employees to their jobs. Excluded are those who fall into vulnerable groups as defined in the new revised list published by the Ministry of Health.
(i) Employees who are responsible for the care of children up to 15 years of age will be entitled to leave until the reopening of public and private schools.
It is understood that during their absence they are obliged to perform any duties assigned to them by the teleworking method.
(ii) The same method will be used by people who belong to vulnerable groups and will not return to work.
(iii) With the return of civil servants, it is possible for the courts to function in accordance with decisions to be taken by the Supreme Court.
C. Department of Education
(i) Giving priority to the need for adequate preparation of graduates of public and private secondary schools, it was decided to return them to the school units from 11 May.
The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth will make relevant announcements, as well as reports on all other levels of education. It is understood that until the full reopening of the school units, the tele-education will continue.
D. Public Health
As part of the normalization of the operation of public and private hospitals, since May 4, the restrictions have been partially lifted based on the instructions of the Ministry of Health and the dental centers are fully reopened.
With regard to individual liberties and the restrictive measures taken, the following were decided:
(i) Increase the number of trips to three per day by sending a text message (SMS). The ban on traffic from 10 pm to 6 am remains in force.
(ii) From May 4, prayers are allowed in churches, mosques and other places of worship, meaning that no more than 10 people will coexist at the same time. The decree on weddings, baptisms and funerals continues to apply.
From June 1, ecclesiastical worship and other forms of religious worship will be allowed in churches, mosques and other religious sites, as health protocols such as the Ministry of Health will be strictly adhered to.
The same measures will apply to weddings, baptisms and funerals.
"At this point, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Primate of the Church of Cyprus for the excellent cooperation and responsibility he demonstrates in managing such a sensitive issue," the PD said.
(iii) Individual exercise (walking, swimming in the sea, cycling, etc.) is permitted in open spaces, on sidewalks and sidewalks within parks, as long as the two persons do not exceed. Minors are excluded from this restriction.
Parks, playgrounds and other open spaces remain closed.
From May 4, the use of open or outdoor sports facilities for high-performance athletes is included in the list of the Cyprus Olympic Committee.
From the 18th of May, the training of team sports is allowed only in open spaces, based on the protocols that will be issued by the Ministry of Health.
It is noted that for both categories of individual and team sports the use of locker rooms, gyms or other closed related infrastructure is not allowed.
Under the condition of the above, the measures decided for the second phase include the following:
1. From 21 May, all restrictions on the movement of citizens will be lifted.
2. The presence in parks, playgrounds in open spaces, squares, marinas, etc. will be free, provided that the gathered people will not exceed 10.
3. Catering companies reopen only for outdoor areas, based on strict protocols to be issued by the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Health.
4. From May 21, hairdressers, barbershops, beauty salons are reopening.
From June 1:
(i) It is allowed to operate and access the organized beaches.
(ii) The ports shall be fully operational, with the exception of the disembarkation of passengers by cruise ships.
(iii) Libraries, museums, archeological and historical sites will reopen.
(iv) Betting agencies are reopening.
"The operation of the above business or other activities will be strictly regulated by the terms and conditions set by the Ministries of Health and Labor.
At the same time, I would like to point out that the Government's plan for the gradual repatriation of students and other Cypriot citizens is being implemented, which due to the measures taken have been blocked abroad ", the President stressed.
"No government planning, no comprehensive program, no anti-pandemic or no financial impact, can have the desired results if not everyone is aware that we must strictly adhere to personal hygiene protocols and occupational safety and health conditions.
From the 4th of May, the first timid steps to leave our shelters take place. This creates an additional responsibility. We all have a duty to protect, in addition to ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, our colleagues, our fellow citizens.
The danger did not go away. As scientists repeat, the corona will be among us for a long time to come. The instructions are clear:
We must meticulously follow the rules of hygiene but also faithfully follow the instructions and guidelines of the scientific team and the competent authorities.
Any deviations or indiscipline will not lead us, as we all wish, to the next but to the previous stage. It will be a setback that no one wants.
Today we are taking a careful step forward.
If we all behave with a sense of responsibility and show the same consistency and prudence, I have no doubt that we will succeed, "he said.
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