Cyprus relaxes gathering regulations

Cyprus further relaxed coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday by lifting a ban on private gatherings of more than 10 people, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.

Under an updated regulation, gatherings of up to 75 people indoors and of up to 170 people outdoors are allowed.

The ban on big private gatherings had brought weddings to a standstill as a marriage ceremony of Cyprus style involves many hundreds of people lining to congratulate the newlyweds and give them a present. It also involves a dinner gathering of some hundreds.

Catering facilities complained that the ban on gatherings ruined their business during the coronavirus lockdown.

The health minister warned that people should be vigilant as the coronavirus has not gone away completely, despite the fact that for several days the only new COVID-19 cases were detected among travelers.

“Despite the good epidemiological outlook Cyprus presents, we are unfortunately not over with the virus. That is why we must continue to be very careful,” Ioannou said in a Facebook post.

His plea was reinforced by a member of the scientific team advising the government, Maria Koliou, who complained that the public has stopped taking protection measures and disregarded safety procedures, such as social distancing and disinfection.

“The virus is still out there, but is simply rarer than before. This means that we may come across someone near us with the virus who can transmit it to us,” Koliou said.