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Coronavirus: police will be watching from the skies to enforce Easter lockdown

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Helicopters and drones will be used by police to check movement regulations over the Easter weekend as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, authorities said on Friday.

In a statement, justice minister Giorgos Savvides said he instructed police to conduct more patrols on the motorways over Easter weekend.

“I have given explicit instructions to the police for increased patrols on the motorways, throughout the holiday period. We cannot go to vacation homes. We pray and celebrate the Passion and the Resurrection in our homes. Good strength and patience. We will make it,” he said on social media.

Earlier, police said they fined ten people €300 each after they were found attending a church service on Thursday evening in Avdellero in the Larnaca district.

Following a tip off, officers went to the church where they found nine people and a priest at the illegal gathering.

The liturgy was held the same day President Nicos Anastasiades urged the public to stay focused on the task ahead of containing the spread of the coronavirus, despite the understandable urge to go to church.

Also, on Thursday night, police chief Kypros Michaelides said authorities would be patrolling around churches and popular outdoor areas used to gather for Easter lunch.

He said the police helicopters would be monitoring the situation from the sky.

“The law applies to everyone, no one is exempt whatever their station may be,” he said.

Michaelides added the Easter bonfire, lampradjia, tradition would not be permitted and he called on parents to keeps their children indoors.

Commenting further, the police chief said he himself was saddened during his interview saying he would spend Easter away from his children and grandchildren. He added that once the measures were lifted he would host a large family gathering to celebrate the holiday.

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