Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: number of violations down (Updated)

The number of establishments and individuals booked for not complying with measures to contain the coronavirus has gone down, police said on Wednesday.

During 24 hours from 6am on Tuesday until 6am on Wednesday, police carried out 896 checks in establishments such as bars and restaurants and booked 10 of them. The main problems were the lack of social distance markings and staff not wearing masks.

In addition, 36 individuals were booked for not wearing masks in areas where they are required.

The numbers started to decrease after new stricter regulations came into force on August 1.

According to the new rules, people aged six and above have to wear masks in supermarkets, bakeries, department stores, retail stores, shopping malls, churches, betting shops and elevators.

They are also required to wear a mask in churches, pharmacies and during visits to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other health care institutions.

Violations are punishable by a fine of €300, which individuals are liable to pay, not the place they are committing the offence in.

An intensified campaign was set in to enforce the new regulations, during which the number of violations gradually decreased. In 24 hours from August 2 to 3, police carried out 1,605 inspections and as a result, a total of 23 properties were booked, and 57 individuals.

A day later, the numbers were already down to 1,352 checks and 52 bookings, and by August 10 to 11, 917 inspections were carried out, and 40 premises and individuals were booked.

Though the campaign may work, there have been reactions against the stiff fines.

At the beginning of August, as authorities ramped up their daily checks, complaints begun to emerge about police heavy-handedness and the unfair imposition of stiff penalties, often to people who cannot afford to pay them.

Paphos restaurant owners said many establishments were being fined €500 time and again by heavy-handed police officers writing tickets for violations that are out of the owners’ control.

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