The coronavirus outbreak in Cyprus will be at the focus of a meeting at the cabinet meeting where Health Ministry experts will exchange views with President and the ministerial committee on a strategy to ease the restriction and restart the economy in different phases.
Following reports on when relaxations would be introduced, Sentonas said no decision had been taken at all on the date of the start of the first phase nor which businesses would reopen.
But representatives of employer groups said on Wednesday after a teleconference with the labour ministry’s permanent secretary that the first to be allowed to launch operations would be construction and retail businesses.
Anastasiades, who yesterday held talks employers, trade unions and representatives of the construction and tourism industry, will tomorrow brief political party leaders on the economy and the government’s exit strategy.
The strategy is being drafted and is set to be approved by the Council of Ministers on April 29.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told CyBC radio on Wednesday morning that the easing of the lockdown will be gradual and dependent on epidemiological data.
One key criterion is the transmission rate (Ro) — the number of new infections from a single case.
Stages of Reopening Businesses
According to reports, the advisory committee of experts has already considered the basics of the road map.
The start will come in the beginning of May with the ending of the night curfew and the increase in the number of times one can leave the house — from the current one to two or three.
Around mid-May some businesses where employees do not come into contact with members of the public or where this can be managed will open, with priority going to building sites followed by hairdressers salons.
Shops selling clothes, shoes and toys and other commercial centres are expected to open at the start of summer with a controlled number of clients and by mid-June, the faithful will be able to go to church, again with controlled numbers.
During the same period, authorities will consider reopening airports for flights to countries that have the same or a better track record on handling the Covid-19 outbreak than Cyprus.
Experts are expected to suggest the resumption of training for sports teams in mid-May. Sports events are expected to resume in June but without fans.
Building sites should be the first to get work as will businesses with a small number of employees or that can operate with appointments such as hairdressers, barbers, beauticians and car sales.
Restaurants, cafes and other catering establishments will be part of phase two, again with restrictions while cinemas, theatres and malls will reopen at a later stage.