The first easing of the restrictive measures after the three-week lockdown imposed on January 10th begins on Monday, February 1st, with the epidemiological picture of Cyprus showing obvious signs of improvement and the daily positivity rate falling to its lowest point in recent months.
At the same time, the Ministry of Health is scaling up the strategy of preventive controls, especially with the use of rapid antigen tests, in view of tomorrow's first phase of the relaxation of restraint measures. Nearly 23,000 tests were performed on a Cypriot basis yesterday, a record daily test number since the pandemic began last March.
The planning of the Ministry of Health is gradual with the first phase of relaxation providing for the reopening of hairdressers, barbershops, beauty salons and driving schools. Also, from the 1st, the percentage of employees increases from 25% to 50%, with a minimum number of 5 employees, if the employer so wishes, and without limitation of the maximum number of employees.
At the same time, regarding the social gatherings in homes, it is now allowed to visit up to two (2) people, meaning they are relatives of 1st and 2nd degree. It is understood that it is forbidden to hold lunch / dinner in houses for weddings and baptisms.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has decided to ban access to nature trails for both sports and other purposes, in an effort to prevent major riots.
The next step on Monday, February 8th
The next and most important step in easing the measures with financial implications is on February 8th, when retail businesses, including department stores and shopping malls, will reopen. Gaming agencies are also reopening, for the sole purpose of completing the ticket, without the use of table seats.
Students also return to public and private primary schools, as well as the 3rd Grade of Lyceums and Technical Schools. Museums and other archeological sites are still reopening, while home visits are increasing to four people.
Increased checks for relaxation
Meanwhile, in an effort to increase the spread of the disease in view of the relaxation, the Ministry of Health continues the program of control of employees in companies that will reopen on Monday, February 1, as well as employees of companies in operating companies.
Today, Sunday, there will be 53 sampling units operating throughout Cyprus with extended hours, a strategy that started immediately with the announcement of the relaxation strategy.
In this context, yesterday a total of 22,674 tests were performed throughout Cyprus, which is a record of daily diagnoses since the beginning of the pandemic in Cyprus.
The points for free Rapid test for Sunday, January 31st
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