ATHENS (AFP): Cyprus on Thursday announced it will ease restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus on June 10, including lifting a seven-month long curfew and opening nightclubs.
Praising the Mediterranean island’s swift roll out of Covid-19 vaccines, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that declining rates of recorded infections allowed the government to take “another big step towards normalcy”.
Cyprus aims to vaccinate 65 percent of population with at least one dose by the end of June.
“With 51 per cent of our fellow citizens vaccinated with the first dose of a vaccine, and 25 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, our country is among the leaders in the European Union,” Ioannou said.
From Saturday, the curfew will be relaxed by one hour, from 1:00 am to 5:00 am, and then lifted entirely on June 10.
From June 1, home visits will increase to a maximum of 20 people, restaurants can open indoor facilities, while 10 days later, nightclubs can reopen — after 15 months of being shut.
The Republic of Cyprus has reported over 72,000 cases and 357 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
Borders with the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Ankara, have been severely restricted during the pandemic. It has recorded over 7,000 cases, including 33 deaths.
Cyprus recommended on Wednesday that those under 50 should not receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, following the death of a 39-year-old British woman, who received a vaccine earlier this month.
The health ministry said those who had received their first of AstraZeneca jab should schedule their second dose.