Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Beaches reopen, though cooler temperatures dampen enthusiasm (Updated)

A sunbed being disinfected on a Larnaca beach on Friday ahead of Saturday's opening

Beaches reopened on Saturday though cooler weather and the strict health and safety regulations in place appeared to dampen the numbers of those eager to flock for sunbathing and a swim.

Two seaside municipalities, Paphos and Limassol, reported the reopening went off without a hitch, but that there were decreased numbers due to the weather.

In Paphos, officials said the two beaches managed by the municipality were being monitored by police to ensure the guidelines set out by the health ministry were met.

Commenting on the situation, Paphos police spokesman Michalis Ioannou said 75 checks were conducted at the beaches.

Paphos mayor Phedon Phedonos said the two beaches managed by the municipality met the health ministry standards.

He added other privately managed beaches in the city will likely not reopen with sunbeds and umbrellas due to the lack of tourists.

In Limassol, mayor Nicos Nicolaides said there were no problems at the beaches and all the measures were being followed.

“Everything is in its place, umbrellas and beach beds, and there is disinfection ongoing, all measures are being followed,” he said.

Nicolaides said there were people at the beach, despite the drop in temperature from a high of 43C earlier in the week.

According to the meteorological service, temperatures on the coast fell about to 27 degrees C in the eastern and southern areas, while on the western coast the temperature was around 25 degrees C.

Beach reopening also fell under strict coronavirus guidelines from the health ministry.  The directives included spacing instructions and mandates for workers at the beaches.

The minimum distance between umbrellas on the beaches is set at four metres, while the minimum distance between sunbeds must be two metres.

Only members of the same family or people who observe the distance of two metres between them are allowed to engage in sports activities.

The health services urge people responsible for providing services and managing the beaches to implement a series of measures.

Staff who will come in contact with the public should be trained, be aware of the symptoms of the coronavirus and recognise them so that they can identify possibly infected cases.

Staff who may develop symptoms of the virus should refrain from working and contact a doctor by phone immediately.

People working at the beaches should avoid coming close or touching the visitors and cover their nose and mouth with a mask.

A towel must be placed on the sunbed and is the responsibility of every visitor.

Beach staff are obliged to disinfect sunbeds and chairs after each use by a beachgoer.

Until the measures are relaxed further it is forbidden to sell items such as lottery tickets and beach games and it is recommended to encourage electronic transactions rather than cash payments.

For the time being, the use of locker rooms and showers located indoors is not allowed.

Those who sell food and drink must follow the instructions the health ministry has issued for pubs, cafes, and restaurants. The minimum distance between customers waiting to be served is two metres.

Water sports equipment must be cleaned and disinfected regularly and after each use by a customer.

Cleaning should be done wearing gloves.

Sanitary facilities such as toilets and outdoor showers must be disinfected frequently, and thorough cleaning of common areas is required.

Toilets should be equipped with liquid soap, disposable paper towels and an antiseptic alcohol solution with an alcohol content of at least 70 per cent. Special care must be taken for the systematic, adequate, and continuous natural ventilation of the toilets.



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