Cyprus was left stunned on Sunday night after a video went viral showing hundreds of people partying in Limassol with zero distancing and many not wearing a mask as they danced around and socialised.
According to late reports, there were 1,500 people there, Poliits said, citing police. Restaurants in the area were also found to be open and have been fined, the report said.
The video that surfaced in the evening left people on social media shocked and horrified the rest of the country, seeing people dancing to music and milling around in a tight crowd as the video below from Phileleftheros’ YouTube channel shows.
“Our children have been sitting home for four months so some people can have a carnival. Where do our rights begin and end? Is there a right to education?,” said one Facebook user. “Government, ministers, president, police…where are you? Shame.”
“Then they will shout that we are locked down again,” said another. “Irresponsible”.
A third post said: “We are locked in because Limassol wants to have fun. They need martial law!”
Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis called video “disturbing” in comments to Sigma news.
“The police showed tolerance in the afternoon but these images are illogical,” she said.
“I want everyone to understand that the situation is precarious. I hope this does not affect our epidemiological picture.”
Earlier in the day, scores of people turned up in the city centre to mark carnival weekend though no official parade or events were officially taking place.
TV footage showed people sporting carnival costumes as cars hooted along Makarios Avenue. Dozens of cars gathered in a nearby parking lot where groups of two or three hung out, some drinking wine and listening to music.
A number of the cars were decked out with balloons and streamers. A group of around 30, cycled down the main thoroughfare on bike, blowing whistles.
According to CNA, carnival officials said they disagreed with the unauthorised events even though police were checking that measures were being followed by those present during the afternoon festivities.
Limassolians have come under fire for their lack of adherence to Covid edicts, consistently showing high numbers of positive cases on a daily basis.