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Coronavirus: maximum numbers for gatherings is increased (Updated)

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou (CNA)

The government on Thursday announced that given the very good epidemiological outlook in Cyprus during the past few weeks, further relaxations would be introduced from Sunday, mainly on gatherings.

According to the health ministry, from Sunday, the maximum number of people in who can gather in public and private is being raised to 250 for outside areas from 150, and from 75 to 100 indoors.

The ministry reiterated that indoor and outdoor simultaneous gatherings were still not allowed ie 250 outside and 100 inside.

“In the event that social gatherings take place in homes, the maximum number includes the permanent residents,” it said.

As regards restaurants, the maximum number of people they can serve is being raised to 250 outdoors. The same number – 100 – remains for indoor areas. The three-square-metres-per person rule indoors and two sq. m outdoors remains in place.

This concerns only restaurants, hotels, taverns, cafes, pizzerias, pubs, snack-bars and bars, coffee shops, and canteens including those in schools, sports and cultural clubs.

The health ministry clarifies that customers can be served only sitting at tables. People cannot sit or be served at bars.

As regards weddings and christenings, the ministry announced that, in order to help people better organise, between August 22 and September 15, the maximum number of people that can attend dinner receptions must not exceed 350.

It also said that though September 1 is the date being discussed as regards the resumption of concerts, fairs and festivals, no definite decision has been taken as yet.

“According to the recommendations from the World Health Organisation and the ECDC, events such as concerts, festivals, fairs etc., pose an increased risk of the virus spreading and the decision to lift restrictions in this area must be taken with great care to avoid deterioration,” the ministry said.

It urged organisers not to rush to announce events yet after September 1 until official announcements were made.

The ministry recalled that concerts were currently allowed only in open-air amphitheatres and not in stadiums or elsewhere.

The ministry also said that all measures were being constantly assessed and readjusted if necessary, based on the epidemiological outlook.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said earlier on Thursday that  despite reassurances from the experts, his ministry was concerned by the deterioration of the epidemiological outlook in several countries after relaxations were implemented “and this is something we take seriously so that we too don’t go down that road.”

Ioannou called on the people to continue taking personal protection measures to avoid a second pandemic wave.

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