Paphos cafes, restaurants and other recreational businesses said they would remain closed on Monday and Tuesday in protest over the recent police bookings of several hospitality businesses.

The Paphos branch of the association of owners of restaurants and entertainment establishments (Pasika), said their members in the town’s tourist area, the commercial centre and in the Ayios Antonios area would remain closed on Monday and Tuesday after several of their colleagues were booked by police in recent days as part of checks for the compliance of the measures against the spread of coronavirus.

“The reasons for making this serious decision are the disagreement as to how the protocol is interpreted by some members of the force,” Pasika said, since the bookings and the very high penalties make it impossible for businesses to operate.

The business group said they would arrange a meeting with the Paphos police chief, Nicos Pentaras, to discuss the matter.

They expressed hope that clarity would emerge from the meeting so that businesses could operate without issue.

Police said on Sunday that four bar owners would be taken in court in Paphos for a series of violations, while four more businesses, in the same district, (three bars and one restaurant) were booked for not following the measures against the spread of coronavirus.

On Monday morning, police said that in the 24 hours until 6am the same day, police booked eight business owners three in Nicosia and five in Paphos. No information was given as to why these businesses were booked. On Sunday police, said that in Nicosia, four restaurants were booked for serving customers in a covered outdoor area and three cafeterias for serving people inside.

All restaurants, cafes and bars must close at 10.45 pm at the latest while customers may be served in outdoor spaces only.

The health ministry defines an outdoor space as any space that has proper and sufficient air flow. Sufficient airflow exists in a space that if the available sides or a part of those (at least two) are open and in a way that does not resemble an enclosed area, it said.