Cyprus announces local lockdowns to curb virus spike(Twitter/HSajwanization)
Cyprus announces local lockdowns to curb virus spike(Twitter/HSajwanization)

Mediterranean island country, Cyprus, bans travel into or out of the towns to curb coronavirus spike

Cyprus imposes a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am, announces partial lockdown with a ban on travel into and out of its Mediterranean towns amid surge in Covid-19 cases
Nicosia | By Agence France-Presse | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2020 12:53 PM IST

Cyprus on Wednesday announced partial lockdowns in its virus hotspots on the Mediterranean coast and other measures in an effort to curb a spike in coronavirus cases.

The resort towns of Limassol and Paphos on the south coast are to go into partial lockdown from Thursday until the end of November.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that travel into or out of the towns would be banned, and a curfew in force from 8 pm to 5 am.

After keeping daily infection numbers low through most of the summer, the divided island has seen them rise to record three-digit figures.

The health system has started to feel the strain with a dedicated Covid-19 hospital at capacity.

Whereas at the end of June it had a total of 1,000 coronavirus cases, the figure has shot up to almost 6,500 in the second wave that is now gripping Europe.

Forty-nine of 68 patients in hospital with Covid-19 are from Limassol and Paphos, as well seven of the last eight deaths from the novel coronavirus.

Hospitality and catering venues are to close in the two towns, and gatherings banned in public places like parks.

Primary schools will remain open, while higher and secondary education will operate remotely.

Museums, cinemas and theatres will shut until November 30 in Limassol and Paphos, and attending church is prohibited.

Shopping malls, department stores, hair salons, gyms and beauty parlours will also have to close.

In the rest of Cyprus, a curfew remains in place until 30 November from 11 pm to 5 am, while bars, cafes and restaurants have to close by 10:30 pm.

The Republic of Cyprus, which registered 165 new virus cases on Wednesday, has officially recorded 6,461 infections and 33 deaths.

The island had largely kept a lid on the pandemic by introducing an early lockdown in March that was gradually eased from early May.

Authorities are keen to avoid another draconian lockdown, with the economy already in recession.

Health authorities blame the spike on Cypriots flouting hygiene rules, including on mask-wearing and social distancing.

Face masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors, except at home, while household gatherings are limited to 10 people.

The breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognised only by Ankara, has registered 986 coronavirus cases, including five deaths.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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