Experts discussed the possibility of relaxing restrictive measures sooner than anticipated during a meeting with the cabinet and the president.
Final decisions are expected to be announced on Wednesday after a new cabinet meeting.
Speaking at the presidential palace, after the same meeting, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said that final decisions on the reopening of kindergartens would be announced on Wednesday. He also noted that individual education schools would resume their activities next week.
Maria Koliou, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Cyprus and a member of the scientific team, said after the meeting that they discussed the possible acceleration of some measures that were due to be relaxed at a later stage. She said, however, that at today’s meeting, no decisions were taken.
Kole urged people to be patient about some restrictions expected to relax during the fourth phase, such as concerts, noting that it is difficult to force people to keep their distance.
The experts reaffirmed Cyprus’ favorable epidemiological profile, which, according to Koliou, “allows some dates to move earlier or to open various services” sooner.
She also said that they discussed the result of a videoconference with the bicommunal Technical Committee on Health, that took place on Monday, for experts to exchange views on the epidemiological situation on both sides of the island.
Asked about gyms, Koliou said that they would reopen under strict conditions.
People will be able to have bigger weddings from September onwards, the expert added. She said that the application of strict protocols would change the way people are used to getting married.
Kindergartens are also expected to reopen soon, possibly from June 9 onwards, said Koliou.
Another member of the scientific team, professor of molecular biology, Petros Karayiannis, said that the president asked to be briefed about the epidemiological situation and how things were evolving in Cyprus.
He also said that they expressed their views on the various activities and professional categories that have not resumed their actions yet. “We expressed our opinions; we noted down some dates.
I suppose that they will get approval tomorrow by the Council of Ministers, and relevant announcements will follow,” he added.
Karayiannis said that the third stage of a plan to ease restrictions would be launched in June; however, he said the fourth stage was “somehow ambivalent.” Some measures will relax earlier than planned, he added.
Asked if the advisory team expressed disagreement with the Minister of health-related to specific measures being relaxed earlier, Karayiannis said this was not true.
He explained that experts were on the same page with the Minister and told that he had asked for some differentiation, which the team accepted.
Karayiannis said the epidemiological situation in Cyprus was perfect compared with other countries, and projected that Cyprus would soon reach zero cases, opening the way for the third phase.
Asked about the possibility of another pandemic wave, the professor said that the issue was discussed, mainly as cases appear to be on the rise in several Arab countries in the region.
Karayiannis expressed particular concern about students from these countries who study in the north to reopen crossing points. For any developments regarding the latter, Karayiannis pointed to the two Cypriot leaders.
Speaking after the same meeting, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said that final decisions on the reopening of kindergartens should be expected on Wednesday.
He said that during the meeting, he listened to the scientific team and their suggestions about the third phase. Decisions were taking shape and will be finalized tomorrow, the Minister added.
Prodromou said individual education schools would reopen the soonest possible, sometime next week.
Asked if he was concerned about the cases being reported in schools, Prodromou said that there has never been an issue with school cases.
He pointed to some incidents that are not worrisome, taking into account the overall epidemiological situation.