So the government has finally decided to set us free from our Covid shackles, not completely, but enough to make life a good deal easier for everyone.
The extent of the relaxations might seem odd at a time when hospitalisations were still on the rise, which could perhaps justify some continued concern among members of the public.
Bizarrely however, government adviser Maria Koliou used the hospitalisation figures to try and justify the relaxations themselves by revealing that in fact possibly half of them were people admitted to hospital for other conditions who had coincidentally tested positive.
It not so much that this might or might not have been known – to many people it was actually a revelation. It is though, a perfect example of government spin. Having 200 people in hospital could just as easily have been used to back away from relaxations for another while had it suited.
It is also basically an admission that the figures they roll out on a daily basis have little meaning as ‘Covid hospitalisations’ in many instances appear to be just happenstance.
For instance, someone admitted to hospital with a broken leg, who, if he had not had an accident, may just have tested positive, self-isolated and never become a hospital statistic.
All this has confirmed that the health ministry has all along being manipulating the stats to suit whatever measure they wanted at the time, rather than ‘following the science’.
Many suspected this kind of manipulation when the government started hiding certain facts a few months into the pandemic, releasing only the information they wanted into the public domain.
Perhaps the ministry is still not aware of how much trust it lost when it started doing this in order to push what were some of the most restrictive measures in Europe.
Then all of sudden this year our fellow EU member states started dropping restrictions. This has been going on for weeks and yet Cyprus hung on to the measures, perhaps from an abundance of caution, which they justified to the public with record-high case numbers and rising hospitalisations, which we now learn are not what they seemed.
It might be cynical to suggest that our relaxations had more to do with the start of the summer season. With the loss of Russian tourism, beggars cannot be choosers, and if Cyprus maintained restrictions such as the annoying flight pass, people would go elsewhere. The government was also coming under increasing pressure from the business and travel sectors that had only hinted at their displeasure with the restrictions until recently and became more outspoken.
When the health minister was asked last week why the measures were still in place, he could no longer use as an excuse that Cyprus was merely following its EU partners.
Instead, he said that China, the mother of all lockdown countries, still had restrictions as if that was in any way relevant to Cyprus and as if he expected the public to just accept it as gospel.