Authorities on Thursday said they temporarily shut a shop at Kings Avenue Mall in Paphos after negligence of the business to properly observe the health protocols led to the creation of a cluster of coronavirus cases among staff.

The shop, selling electronics and other goods, was forced to suspend its operation “following the detection of serious violations concerning failure to implement measures against the transmission of the coronavirus,” the labour inspection office said.

This decision was necessary, the authority said, after emerging that “due to wrong actions and insufficient management” a chain of positive cases emerged among staff.

“Basically, the chain of positive cases was a result of the non-implementation of all of the necessary preventive and protective measures,” the labour inspection office said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, labour ministry officials, in cooperation with other state services, have carried out 11,683 inspections at workplaces such as construction sites, retail businesses but also many nursing homes.

So far, 225 penalties have been imposed such as suspension of operations and out-of-court-fines, the labour inspection office said.

“It is crucial to comply with all the required measures and not to implement them in a fragmented way or improvise,” it added. “It is also important to appoint a health and safety officer to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the measures in each company and in each establishment / workplace.”

The labour office also said that it was particularly important to systematically implement, down to the last detail, the actions that need to be taken in case of positive cases, to identify as soon as possible any cases of transmission of the coronavirus among close contacts.