Cypriot Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Thursday announced further moves to ease lockdown restrictions in Cyprus.
From March 1, high schools, gyms, pools, dance academies and art galleries will be able to reopen whilst the ban on public gatherings will continue to apply.
Ioannou said easing the six-week-old lockdown should proceed “slowly, cautiously and in a controlled manner.”
The Minister warned that the situation could easily get out of hand again as the country’s infection rate remains slightly above safety limits set by the European Union’s disease prevention agency.
“We'll do without certain things for the next two or three months, some measures will carry on until there's (sufficient) vaccination coverage which is estimated to happen by June," Ioannou continued.
Moreover, the twice-a-day movement remains in force.
To go out, permission must be requested by sending a text message to 8998.
Requests should be sent as a string of numbers in the following format: category (1-8), space, ID number, space, postal code (four-digit postal code).
Cyprus SMS for movement categories:
- Going to the pharmacy, visit a doctor, give blood or for a COVID test or for vaccination
- Going to a supermarket to buy essential products, goods and services (groceries, food)
- Going to the bank when electronic transactions are not possible
- Absolutely necessary visits to a government office
- Going out to help others who are in need of assistance or are in isolation, including those under quarantine
- Going out for physical exercise, in groups of up to two, in your neighborhood
- Attending a ceremony or service (funeral, wedding, baptism/christening) if guests are first or second degree relatives in groups of up to ten individuals
- Any other reason for going outside that can be justified under the measures as described in the latest decree on movement restrictions
Since the start of the pandemic, in Cyprus there have been 33,909 confirmed infections, with 231 deaths.