Three Russian nationals were fined a combined total of €900 by Akrotiri police for having a picnic on South Paramali beach on Sunday.

In a press release on Tuesday, the British bases detailed that one member who attended the picnic – which is currently illegal due to harsh Covid-19 regulations – was also arrested for refusing to undertake a breathalyser test for alcohol. He was subsequently released on €300 bail ahead of a court date on March 3, the announcement read.

The Russian nationals, who all live in Cyprus, were found with three others – their partners – having a picnic on the beach, listening to music and drinking alcohol.

Chief Inspector, Panicos Panayi, said the use of beaches for picnics and socialising was strictly prohibited under current Covid-19 regulations and he urged people to be more aware, or face the financial penalties.

He said: “According to the current regulations on movement, people are permitted to go to the beach only for exercise purposes, for example, swimming or running and not for leisure.

“It is vitally important that people adhere to these regulations or they will face heavy fines. Our police officers are patrolling these areas to ensure that everyone is following the measures as we continue to deal with this pandemic.”