Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday announced the third round of relaxations of measures against the spread of coronavirus but said the issue of opening the crossing points was not discussed at the cabinet meeting.
Following the meeting, the minister said that public swimming pools would resume operations on June 5.
Malls, airports, ports, kindergartens, open-air cinemas and theatres, summer schools and the internal areas of restaurants and hotels will be allowed to operate from June 9. School canteens will be allowed to resume operations from that date.
Sports championships will also be allowed to resume from June 9 but without any spectators.
On June 13, casinos, dance schools, gyms, theme parks and luna parks will be allowed to open.
The ban on gatherings of over 10 people remains in place until June 24, but for places like casinos and luna parks, this applies in the same way as it would for businesses that are already operational – such as the outside of restaurants and cafes.
“Restaurants for example can have let’s say 40 people but no more than ten per table,” Health Ministry Spokesperson Margarita Kyriacou told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.
Kyriacou explained that casinos could allow – for example – fifty people inside if they are spread out inside the business, but no more than ten at any one table.
No decisions have been taken for the fourth phase of relaxations yet, Ioannou said, but announced that theatres and cinemas will be able to open at the beginning of August whereas festivals, concerts, christening and wedding receptions and graduation ceremonies will be allowed from September 1.
Later in the day, the health ministry said that between June 24 and July 6, gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed indoors or up to 100 people outdoors, provided that health protocols are followed as regards the maximum number of persons per square metre.
From July 7 to August 30, gatherings will be allowed up to 75 people indoors or up to 150 people outside. It clarified that simultaneous gatherings both indoors and outdoors are not allowed.
Registrations on gatherings will be lifted on September 1, it said.
The minister said the third round of relaxations will last until June 24 instead of July 14 when the initial planning was made “taking into consideration the very good epidemiological picture observed to-date in Cyprus.”
He added that the third round of relaxations follows the suggestions submitted by the advisory committee on coronavirus during their meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades and himself on Tuesday.
As regards working conditions for vulnerable groups of the population, the minister said that the advisory committee on coronavirus suggested that the group A is abolished from June 13. “For the moment, group B will remain and be reassessed within the coming days,” Ioannou said.
Member of the committee, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, Dr Petros Karayiannis told Antenna TV that people in group A would be able to return to work while group B would have to remain at home.
Group A concerns persons over 65, pregnant women, and mothers who are breastfeeding, people with respiratory diseases, kidney and liver problems and type 1 diabetes.
The minister pointed out the importance of sticking to all protection measures when in inside areas of restaurants, in malls and other areas.
“We all need to realise that if we keep the self-protection measures such as a two-metre distance and the other measures we have announced, there is no reason for concern,” Ioannou said.
He added that the situation will be constantly assessed and in the event there is an increase in coronavirus cases, the necessary measures will be taken.
Later in the day, the education ministry announced that special schools would also resume operations on June 9. As regards kindergartens, the education ministry said both state and private ones will be allowed to open on June 9. As regards capacity in kindergartens, there must be no more than three children for every 10 square metres in each teaching room. The protocols for their operation will be sent to schools which will brief parents, the ministry said.
It also called on parents of children going to special schools to contact the competent committee at the ministry for more information on the health measures to be taken.