Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Cyprus begin to ease some COVID-19 restrictions as of May 4; significant business, travel disruptions remain.

This alert affects Cyprus

This alert began 06 May 2020 17:20 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Authorities in Cyprus began a gradual easing of the restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of May 4. From this date, individuals are permitted to leave their homes three times per day; previously only one outing was permitted. Shops outside of malls are permitted to reopen provided they abide by safety and health protocols governed by the Ministries of Health and Labor. Also from May 4, public services are intended to fully resume, though some disruption to services is possible due to staff shortages.

A number of restrictions remain in force, including:

  • A nightly 2200-0600 curfew.
  • A ban on gatherings of more than two people from different households.
  • Religious gatherings are limited to 10 individuals.
  • The closure of many public spaces.
  • Commercial flight ban in place until May 17.
  • Ban on most foreign nationals entering the country.
  • All returning Cypriot citizens are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Authorities are currently planning to lift and ease additional restrictions May 21 and June 1 dependent on the evolution of disease activity in the country. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures undertaken by the Cypriot government are similar to actions taken by other European governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center