Cyprus announced a two-week lockdown and brought forward a nighttime curfew to try to reverse a spike in infections of Covid-19.
The East Mediterranean island has seen a surge in infections over the last month, putting pressure on its healthcare system.
Since March 2020, Cyprus has recorded 59,792 cases of Covid-19, and 296 deaths.
The new lockdown will come into effect Monday morning and run until May 9, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told reporters.
A nighttime curfew will start at 9 p.m., from 11 p.m. previously, and run until 5 a.m. the next day.
People who do not have a permit to go to their place of employment will be allowed outdoors only once a day.
Authorities will make an exception for May 1, allowing limited numbers to attend Greek Orthodox Easter Mass services. Throughout this week, church liturgies in the runup to Easter will be closed to the public, he said.
Businesses including hairdressers, gyms, theaters and cafes have to shut, along with retail businesses with the exception of food and beverage or essential services.
“We are at a particularly difficult phase in the pandemic,” Ioannou said.
Authorities will boost the vaccination process and have said they plan to vaccinate 60% of the population by the end of June. [Reuters]