The new measures announced by Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou include a curfew every night between 9pm and 6am, as well as police checks on peoples’ homes. The government has decreed that only the residents of the house should be there. The aim was to cut family gatherings to stop the spread of the virus.
However, there has been confusion and concern as to how these checks at peoples’ homes will be enforced.
“The legislation is very clear. We need the consent of the owner of the house. Without a warrant we cannot enter,” said Paphos police spokesman Michalis Ioannou.
“We will go to the house and ask permission to enter. If the owner of the house does not consent, the police will remain outside the house and not allow anyone to leave and we will request a search warrant from the court,” Ioannou said
He said this can be obtained within half an hour. The process was also explained by police spokesman Andreas Christou.
“For any policeman to enter a person’s home this will only happen if they have a search warrant. Or if the owner of the house grants permission for the policeman to enter,” he told the Cyprus Mail.
“Accordingly, if we are given information that there is an infraction going on then we will act as we do as usual. Under no circumstances will a policeman just enter the house.”
“If they witness something suspicious going on, then they can inform the authorities and the police will get involved accordingly. This is true for any citizen, not just for the neighbourhood watch – if you saw something wrong happening you would call the police as usual,” he said.
When asked about how the police themselves are coping, Ioannou said that: “The police have been put on the frontline for this. Offices have been scaled down and increased patrols are in place.
“There have been 17 patrols in Paphos city every day and this may be increased if necessary so as to have the best possible result to resolve this problem our country is facing,” he said.