NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus on Wednesday lifted the obligatory use of face masks in all indoor areas after the island nation’s top health official said epidemiological data amid the coronavirus pandemic have “significantly improved.”
Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that the mask rule still applies to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, pharmacies and public transport.
It’s recommended that those with chronic ailments continue using face coverings.
All capacity limitations were also lifted as of Wednesday for restaurants, nightclubs, retail stores, shopping malls, casinos, sports stadiums and churches.
Primary school pupils will be supplied with five self-tests each on their return to classes on Sept. 12. Authorities recommend that teachers and students get either self-tested or undergo a rapid test before the start of classes.
The COVID-19 infection rate receded to 3.54%, with nine of 57 people receiving hospital treatment diagnosed as being in serious condition, for the week of Aug. 19-25, according to Health Ministry statistics.
About 16 people, ranging in age from 66 to 99, died from COVID-19 for the same week, bringing the overall total in Cyprus since the pandemic began to 1,168.