Cyprus will be under a strict national lockdown from 10 January until the end of the month.

Cyprus Health Minister Konstantinos Ioannou announced new measures on Friday afternoon which are aimed at curbing the opportunity for the virus to spread at work and social gatherings. Hospitality has already been shut down in Cyprus with bars, restaurants and coffee shops closed to patrons since December apart from delivery and take away.

Cypriots have been meeting at each other’s homes, allowing for the spread of the virus. New measures include an overnight curfew from 9pm to 5am and also puts an end to public and private gatherings in both indoor and outdoor venues.

Workers in the public and private sectors will work online, and schools will take place online apart from daycare centres and special education facilities which will remain open.

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Mask-wearing is mandatory when outside.

Cypriots can only leave their homes after sending an SMS to hotline number 8998, and reasons for leaving include going to work, shopping at the pharmacy or supermarket or for other essential goods as well as for exercising and medical purposes. Only two messages a day are permitted with exceptions for emergencies.

Church services will be without parishioners, apart from a few exceptions for personal prayer under strict guidelines.

Cyprus is home to 1.2 million people and recorded 573 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.