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Cyprus in Corona: Post Lockdown

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Welcome back! Thankfully we have maintained a sense of normalcy for the past few weeks. Huge thanks to the efforts of the Cyprus government and the residents! I just want the whole world to know how is Cyprus in Corona, Post Lockdown.

Corona update as of this writing:  985 cases and 18 Casualties

Early Stage of Pandemic

March 12th, 2020; I arrive at Larnaca airport and the Coronavirus pandemic just recently announce by the World Health Organization. A few protocols in place to quarantine passengers coming from China, Hongkong, South Korea, and other select countries.

That morning, Cyprus has less than ten cases and I smoothly exited from the airport. Fortunately, I’m just in the nick of time to travel before the whole world shuts down.

Day after the day, the cases rise exponentially, left all of us baffling of the string of events and the statistics; it is scary, confusing, and uncertain. After a day or two from my arrival starts the mandatory quarantine of all passengers. On the 21st of March, all flights shut down in Cyprus.

To be sure, I opt for home isolation for 14 days; since coming from a long haul flight from Southeast Asia with a six-hour layover in the middle east.

How did Cyprus manage this pandemic?

Cyprus’ Lock down Exit Timeline

March 24, 2020

Draconian Measures: Lock down in force

– Banned movement only for essential purposes.
– Sending of SMS details before stepping outside.
– Curfew from 6PM to 6AM
– Violators fine, EUR 150
– Closure of public places, stores, malls, construction sites, private and public offices schools, churches and mosques
– Lock down until 30th April, 2020

March 24, 2020
May 4, 2020

Reopening – Phase I
May 4 – 20, 2020

– Permitted movements: up to three SMS per day.
– Curfew from 10am to 6am
– Construction companies and related business;
retail trade, except commercial centers and big department stores.
– Flee markets, street vendors and bazaars can open for business
– Offices resume except for vulnerable groups
– Religious activities limited to 10 persons

May 4, 2020
May 21, 2020

Reopening – Phase II
May 21 – June 8, 2020

May 21
– Lifting of restrictions of movement; no more SMS
– Allowed visits to parks, playground, marina, squares; no more 10 persons at a time
– Opening of cafes, restaurants for outside seating only
– Hairdressers, salons, tattoo and massage shops
– Primary schools resumes
May 23
– Opening of organized beaches
June 1
– Public libraries, museums, archaeological, and historical sites

May 21, 2020
June 9, 2020

Reopening – Phase II
June 9 – July 13, 2020

– Revival of Tourism in different stages; arriving countries are categorized
– Sea ports
– Shopping malls, hotels,
open air cinema
– Restaurants and cafe with indoor seating
– Kindergarten resumes

June 9, 2020
July 14, 2020

Reopening – Phase II
July 14, 2020 & onwards

– Indoor theaters
– Indoor playground

July 14, 2020

The framework of the lockdown exit is based on the advice of the scientific team and together with the government form an effective strategy. Guidelines are set up in every sector for the reopening, all of a sudden there are new normals to observe. In conclusion, the politicians listened to experts.

Phase II – Opening of Organized Beach
Audible Gift Memberships

Notes

  1. Sending SMS per movement. Prior to going outside, we must obtain approval from the government by sending our details via SMS. This controls the movement of residents and helps in contact tracing.
  2. Essential Movements. These are trips to supermarkets, pharmacies, doctor appointments, and other related purposes.
  3. Vulnerable groups. The seniors who are above 60 years old and those with health conditions are only allowed to shop from opening time till 10 AM only. If you don’t belong to this group, you have to wait after 10 AM.
  4. Repatriation flights. During lockdown, repatriation flights are servicing stranded passengers in Cyprus and for Cypriots who wish to return home. Accordingly, a 14-day quarantine is mandatory for returning passengers in government facilities.
  5. Revival of Tourism. Following the lockdown exit plans, Larnaca airport welcomes travelers from countries based on the epidemiological data of these countries. As per the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as of June 12, 2020, countries are categorized: “Categories A (Malta, Greece, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Luxembourg) and B (Israel, Poland, Romania).” Updates are on the government portal website.
Phase III – Malls are finally open
Spend less. Smile more: Low Prices, All in One Place

My thoughts

Going outdoors

Imagining how the world will be after the pandemic is full of uncertainty. Seems like things will never be the same. Throughout lockdown, I’m thinking how does my life resume outdoors? Can I still enjoy the beach, parks, flea markets, and attend festivities? Can I still go shopping in physical stores? And can I still travel? How will I see my family and loved ones from the other side of the world? It is pretty strange asking all these questions.

Now that situation is controlled, how sweet it is to reclaim freedom once again. Going outside really boosts one’s morale. You can’t just remain locked up for so long! I understand how difficult it is to cope every single day, but this is the sacrifice we have to make to stop the transmission of the virus. Herd immunity does not work in all communities.

Sanitizing every time is already now a habit and I am getting a hang of managing social distancing. The visual marks flash like a warning and the staffs are quick to alert you for nonconformance. Also, a PA system repeatedly blasts the dos and don’ts, hence anyone can get accustom to all these new guidelines.

In spite of some apprehensions of what the future holds for the rest of the world, for now, I feel safe and optimistic that this pandemic will take a positive turn with proper management.

Makenzy Beach in Larnaca, an aircraft about to land; 6/17/2020

Welcoming tourists

The opening of borders may trigger another wave of transmission, God forbid! This is one of my concerns and is it too soon? Currently, we are now receiving some flights in the past days, and so far cases are in control.

There is no room for complacency. It only takes a single person to spread the virus again. I remain hopeful that all protocols are strictly enforced at all levels.

Troodos mountain is usually filled tourists all year round, however, it feels a little bit somber as cafes and restaurants are empty.

Cyprus is slowly opening to the world and so does the rest of the EU in different timetables. If you are residing in Europe, you can start traveling with caution. Yes, there is always a sense of fear, some will wait for the availability of the vaccine before going anywhere. As for me, I think I can commence to travel soon with extreme caution. I will choose destination countries that demonstrate safety and confidence to all travelers.

Luxurious hotels in Pyla, Larnaca; looks deserted.

Albeit the gradual restart of tourism, about 10% of the hotels have opened since the 9th of June with a very low occupancy. With UK and Russia as the main tourist market here and currently both are struggling to flatten the curve; it is still unknown when doors will open for them. Tourism may take time to revive and this worries the continual adverse effects of the economy.

For the time being, I am glad that we are back to our norms whilst with precaution. I hope that all other nations will slowly achieve this position and revive what has been affected.

Welcome back, everyone! Cyprus is still in coronavirus period, easing smoothly post lockdown.

Will you be visiting Cyprus soon? Or traveling somewhere perhaps?

How are you doing? Let us know your situation at this moment.

45 Comments

Add Yours →

This article was very informative. with insane value, so much info thank you. Some of the measures taken by your go by the government is actually smart I will start implementing them

I think the Cypriot government got it right with the rules especially SMS system. It’s great that they can invite tourists back but it makes you wary what that will do as nowhere is clear of Covid yet. I know that the UK and US aren’t allowed to travel to Greece because of our high rates still which I agree with.

I think the Cypriot government got it right with the rules especially SMS system. It’s great that they can invite tourists back but it makes you wary what that will do as nowhere is clear of Covid yet. I know that the UK and US aren’t allowed to travel to Greece because of our high rates still which I agree with.

The government implemented effective controls and law enforcers did their job well to catch violators. As for the tourists coming, they can enjoy their holidays with guided protocols. For sure crowd will be minimized and expect more disinfecting. This also means that tourism can’t operate at full capacity yet. As for Greece, they are more agressive in opening their doors since they rely heavily on their tourism industry. Countries allowed to enter depends on how well they manage the pandemic, similar to Cyprus categorizing the first 2 batches.

Cyprus has handled the situation so well – unlike the UK, sadly. Much as I would love to come back to Cyprus, I don’t think we’ll be travelling abroad this year. Not least because my husband is in the vulnerable category. We are safe where we live so I think we’ll just have to focus our energies on looking forward to going away on holiday next year, fingers crossed. Stay safe, my friend! Lisa

Hello Lisa! Hang on and keep safe to both of you. Next year travels will be great and hopefully, the situation will get better. Take care always!

This was so interesting! I haven’t actually read anything about the Covid situation in Cyprus so this was a great insight 😊

Hi Rhi! Thanks for dropping by. As I have been reading and hearing the updates for Coronavirus worldwide, Cyprus is not really mentioned. Hence, I wrote this article that we are doing well and we hope to be COVID free soon. Be safe and take care!

Great timeline! I haven’t heard many details about how other countries are dealing with the pandemic, so this was really informative to read. Thanks for sharing!

I would love to visit Cyprus! I travelled to Florida on March 10th for two weeks and it all changed so fast, Disney & universal closed it was so scary and really sad – Hoping we get our normal travels again!

Hello Bea! I’m sure you will enjoy your visit to Cyprus. Good thing you managed to travel before the shutdown of the borders. We are all waiting until we can fly again! Stay safe 💕

Looks as if authorities are taking thoughtful measures w your reopening. I want to be a tourist sitting on that beach.
Love your chart, btw! Is that a plug in?

Hi Sue! We will be happy to have you here in Cyprus. My weekends are now spent on the beach. 💕 Everyone’s cooperation is very vital at this point, we can’t let our guard down. The chart is not a plug in, it’s in wordpress editing tools.

I loved how you showcased the timeline – that idea is uber cool! Looks like Cyprus is handling the pandemic well and I hope it eliminates the virus completely.

Thanks Sakshi! We still have a few cases everyday, sometimes zero. We hope to be COVID free soon. Glad i found the chart, easier to present the info. 👌

This is super interesting to read and see what the situation is like in other places!

Amber – The Unpredicted Page

I won’t be going on holiday again for at least another year, just not worth the risk. New Zealand went about 25 days without a single case, then two Brits visit and were allowed to leave quarantine early, then they both tested positive for covid19 after ignoring there own symptoms. Only takes one person like that to kick start it off all over again

This is one of my concerns too. I hope that no carrier can pass through in spite of the protocols in place. It will be unfortunate to be on lockdown again and everything will cease. Cheers to future travels, whenever it is safe.

Glad to hear that y’all are slowly opening back up! We seem to keep going backwards in our state. The states around us are all open completely for the most part but we keep getting pushed back unfortunately.

It’s sad to hear for some places still struggling to manage the pandemic. There are so many factors to consider and add to it the demographics of the society. Hence, stay safe always in time it will be ok. Hang on!

Cyprus seems a safety and pandemic controlled place. My family and I would like to visit it next August. We are travelling from Spain. What is the current situation for us? Thanks.

Hello Manuel! Up to this time, the pandemic is well controlled, and now flights starting to arrive from selected countries. It is projected that by September onwards, tourist traffic will increase hopefully. Hope you can travel soon and more importantly be safe.

I think the biggest challenge of Cyprus economy is to revive tourism with the pandemic. Since UK and Russia are their main tourist markets but they are still battling with corona virus. The political instability has affected tourism a few years ago and economic conditions in Western Europe have also affected their economy. With the financial crisis year 2012-2013; they managed to bounce back by 2015.

Same here! We don’t know when this coronavirus pandemic will be over but hopefully, a vaccine or cure will be available soon. Stay safe!

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