Current Events

300,000 Trees Planted In Nicosia With Australian Donation

 

The Australian High Commission will has made a large donation to ‘300K Trees in Nicosia,’ an NGO Group to help them in their goal of planting 300,000 trees in the Nicosia district.

Their project coordinator, Eleftheria Louca spoke with Cyprus Mail, stating that the NGO is indebted to the Australian High Commission for helping them execute their idea to create their plant nursery. She went on to thank volunteers, who donated the area of Flasou for this purpose.

‘300K Trees in Nicosia’ was a very simple initiative taken by citizens, which became bigger with time and finally got registered as a NGO. It has shown a great aptitude in being involved with climate related issues.

The organization is known to be active and regularly liaises with many schools, universities, the government and private organizations.

Using pine, harrop and many other local species of trees, they have so far planted 7,215 trees.

 

Viper Bite Sends Young Girl To Hospital

 

A 9-year-old girl is undergoing treatment in Makarios General Hospital after being bitten by a viper.

This is the second of such incidents, after a 6-year-old boy underwent a similar treatment after also being bitten by a viper.

The girl’s family, who reported the incident, said that the viper was on the window of the room where are girl was playing. It was spotted by the family cat, who confronted it, after biting it, tried to throw it away. However, the injured viper fell on the 9-year-old and bit her.

The girl was rushed to Paphos hospital, where she was administered with the anti-venom serum. The girl was then transferred to Makarios hospital for further treatment.

Snake bites are fairly common in Cyprus, with hospitals dealing with up to 4 cases every year.

 

Nearly 80% Coverage for First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

 

In what is being considered good news for public health, the Cypriot Health Ministry has stated that nearly 78% of all adults and over 30% of teenagers (i.e. those between 16 to 17 years of age) have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

As of August 23, the data says that around 77.6% adults have been inoculated with the first dose of the anti-covid vaccine, while 72.3% have seemingly completed the vaccination process. In the meantime, after about two months of the extension of the National Vaccination Scheme to those under-18, around 34.4% of those between 16 to 17 years of age were vaccinated with at least the first dose of the vaccine, with the percentage of fully vaccinated standing at 25.6.

As per the data, 70% of those aged 30 to 39, 59% of those aged 20 to 2, and 47% of those aged 18 to 19 have received the first dose of the vaccine.

District-wise, Paphos with 88.5 % of its population vaccinated continues to retain the first place in the chart, whereas the district of Larnaca seems to be the last with around 71.6% of its population being vaccinated so far.

Cyprus is preparing to vaccinate all of its elderly population by the end of September 2021.

 

88 Syrian Migrants Sent Back To Lebanon by Cyprus

 

88 Syrian migrants, who tried to reach Cyprus in two boats, have been sent back to Lebanon.

According to the Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, 5 men had jumped overboard. The Cyprus Police rescued 4 men. However, a fifth, who was wearing a mask, a life preserver and flippers managed to flee. Rescue crews are still looking for this individual.

Others among those rescued include a sick man and a pregnant woman. They were airlifted and later hospitalized.

The boats were originally detected by the coastal radar, and first intercepted by the marine police vessels with 48 men, 15 women and 25 minors on board – roughly 15 kilometers away from the coastline.

All of them were transferred to Lebanon under police escort on a chartered boat, under the agreement signed between Cyprus and Lebanon, which says that any person trying to reach Cyprus via boat shall be deported back to Lebanon.

Cyprus is situated at a distance of around a 230 kilometers west of Lebanon and around 170 kilometers west of Syria.

 

36 Cases of Sexual Harassment Handled In 2021

 

The Cyprus Police has revealed that they have handled a total of 36 sexual harassment cases thus far, 22 of which have been filed in court.

According to Eleni Constantinou, a spokesperson for the Cyprus Police, there are a total of 36 cases under investigation by the special unit dealing with sexual harassment issues. 22 of these have already been filed in court, while 9 others are still being investigated.

Ms. Constantinou stated that the police are continuing to collect statements, evidence and clues concerning the cases under investigation. She further added that legal service, has decided not to press charges in 2 out of 3 cases it is currently studying.

She has urged people with information to remain quiet in public, but be as detailed as possible when interacting with the police.

The Cyprus police has seen a considerable increase in complaints – chiefly after the incident of the Greek athlete Sophia Bekatorou, who spoke about her rape publicly.

 

2 Persons Identified in Fake News Post Scandal

 

The Cyprus police’s cybercrime unit has reported that two men – aged 32 & 45 have been identified in connection with the ongoing fake news post scandal.

The scandal in question is one that arose from a post that claimed that a 12-year-old child in Limassol less than a day after being administered the Covid-19 vaccine. It was later confirmed, however, as fake news after being denied by the health authorities.

The police, who identified the suspects via testimonies, brought both suspects in for questioning. They even obtained a search warrant and searched the 45-year-old suspect, where they seized a mobile phone.

Both of the accused eventually confessed about their connection to the crime. As of now, the elder of the two is being charged in writing, and is due to appear in court soon.

 

OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN IN CYPRUS NOT UPGRADED

 

The office of the Ombudsman of Cyprus has not been upgraded to A status accreditation awarded by the sub-committee on accreditation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Earlier this year, it was given a time frame of eighteen months to fulfill and submit a new reassessment application in order to get the promotion to A status.

Several vulnerabilities were identified to be the reason for this development. This includes (but is not limited to) the office’s funding and financial autonomy, the level of pluralism and of course the process of selection of the ombudsman by the President of the republic.

The Sub-Committee on Accreditation has compiled and published a detailed report on this, which was released in June 2021.

The Office of the Cyprus Ombudsman was established in 1991. Based in Nicosia, it currently holds B status accreditation

 

DOCTORS ILLEGALLY ISSUING SAFEPASSES

 

The use of safe pass has forced people and doctors to adopt illegal methods to fulfil the mandatory norms – primarily by presenting fake certificates. 

Simultaneously, it has been noticed that the doctors are certifying that their patients do not require any vaccination while prioritizing other norms such as mandatory use of masks.

This is indeed a serious and threatening phenomenon and quite a few of such complains and cases have been formally submitted for investigative measures.  

Michael Anastasiades, the President of the Doctor’s Association Ethics Committee has voiced his concern on the matter. He further added that a decision should be taken to appoint an investigator, and once appointed, should have a non-partisan membership.

 

EUROGROUP PRESIDENT DONOHOE TO VISIT CYPRUS

 

Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup, shall make a visit to Cyprus and Greece for bilateral meetings. 

Minister Donohoe will be meeting the President as well as the finance minister of Cyprus and shall frame the priorities he has as the President of the Eurogroup.

He will discuss the prospects of recovery of the Euro Area in meetings with the business frame of Cyprus. 

All the meetings are focused on the economic recovery caused by the pandemic.

 

2 ARRESTED IN STABBING INCIDENT IN NICOSIA

 

The Cyprus police have arrested two men, 21 and 22, for at least 8 days on suspicion of stabbing a 23-year-old man in Nicosia.

The incident in question happened around 12 noon in a central Nicosia parking lot, where it is being ascertained that the 22-year-old injured the 23-year-old in the neck and face while scuffling with him.

Once the latter was injured, both the 21 and the 22-year-old fled the scene to avoid being found and arrested. Various eyewitness account that put them on the scene, along with a statement from the 23-year-old got the two men arrested.

The 23-year-old is currently recovering in the hospital. All of the three men are from Syria.

 

POLICE REMAND 3 ILLEGAL MIGRANTS FOR IDENTITY THEFT

 

At least three persons were held for crimes related to illegal entry, stay and identity theft.

Firstly, a Congolese woman was arrested at Paphos international airport early on Monday. The airport authorities became suspicious during the required passport check when she presented a French passport. On further interrogation, she confessed to the police that the identity card was given to her by a man of African descent not known to her in Larnaca. 

Incidentally on the same flight, a person of African descent displayed a Belgian ID during the passport check, which turned out to be a fake one. The man then revealed to the police that the Belgian ID he displayed did not belong to him. He found it on lying on the ground somewhere in Larnaca. 

Finally, a female of African descent was arrested at the same airport, for displaying a Belgian identity card. Although the identity card was alright, it has been stated lost as per records.

On Tuesday, the District Court of Paphos remanded them for three days.

 

FUGITIVE AMERICAN WOMAN ARRESTED IN CYPRUS

 

A woman, 29, allegedly wanted on an international arrest warrant for crimes related to fraud and money laundering, was held on her arrival in Cyprus Paphos’ airport, as per police statement on Friday.  

On her arrival on a flight from Moscow, the airport authorities found that an international arrest warrant pending against her.

The warrant was issued by the United States for crimes related to fraud and money laundering that the woman committed in 2017.

The Cypriot authorities are currently preparing to deport the woman back to the US, where she will stand trial for her crimes.

 

CYPRUS POLICE ORDER DESTROYING OF FIREWORKS

 

The Cyprus Police have declared that they will be destroying all confiscated fireworks at the Sha quarries. The destruction has been scheduled between 5 and 11 pm.

To that end, they have issued an advance warning to the public on the explosions that might be heard as a result of this activity. They explained that while they would rather not have these interruptions, it is important to dispose off the hazardous materials as fast as possible.

They have assured the public that they have taken the necessary precautions, and that they would have no cause for concern.

The fireworks in question are those the police have seized on multiple occasions. Almost all of these were found to be illegally possessed.

 

2 CYPRIOT ATHLETES TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

 

An athlete participating in the Cyprus national team in the Olympic Games along with her coach have tested positive for Covid-19.

The diagnosis has happened after the athlete had completed her sporting competition.

Andreas Theophylactou, the head of the Cyprus delegation in Tokyo, confirmed the grim development. He further added that the two were no longer staying in the Olympic village.

While he is relieved that the two infected are safe to themselves and others, he is worried that about other members of the team, especially with other cases (in other countries’ teams) being recorded in the Olympics village.

So far, 16 people in the Olympic village – all from various countries – have tested positive for COVID-19. This makes the total number of infected rise to 148 – a number that includes volunteers, assistants and organizers in general.

 

COURT FINDS PRIMA FACIE IN CASE AGAINST RAPE-ACCUSED BISHOP

 

The criminal court of Larnaca-Famagusta has found prima facie case against the former bishop.

In response to this development, Michalis Pikis, the former cleric’s lawyer has requested a period of a day to prepare his defense against the newly obtained information.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, this development has come after 2 more witnesses have testified against Chrysostomos. This includes a police officer who had investigated the case to begin with.

The offence in question that forms the basis of this case is a rape the ex-bishop committed against a woman in 2011, in his own office in Larnaca.

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR ARSON

 

The Cyprus Police have arrested a man on suspicion of arson after a fire burnt down roughly 2kms of wild vegetation and dry grass in Analiontas.

The authorities came to know about the fire after nearby residents and witnesses reported it to the police. The fire had become massive by then, and it took the collective efforts of 19 fire engines, 3 aircrafts and a police helicopter.

Once the fire was finally extinguished, the police investigated the case, which led to them arrested the man, 33. The man came under the police’s radar after they found cut iron bars and a metal cutting machine on the plot, which belonged to said man. The police also found 2 cannabis plants.

The man was then arrested on charges of drug possession, illegal cannabis growing, and of course, starting the forest fire.

 

WATER DUCT BREAKAGE LEADS TO FLOODING IN TURTLE BEACH

 

Limni beach, Cyprus’ one and only beach for turtles has been completely flooded.

The flooding has happened due to water emptied from a duct by the Water Development Department (TAY). This has surprised members of the government and the public alike, who are wondering how the TAY did not realize about the number of turtle nests in the area.

The mishap was only found out once the photos of the incident began to circulate online, which led to the Phileleftheros contacting the Ministry of Agriculture.

Upon investigation, it was found that it was the TAY that emptied the duct, one that connected the dams of Evretou and Pomos.

In response, the TAY has started up with their repair works and have assured that there are no more trouble-causing leakages.

The TAY emptied the duct in four different points – and Limni beach was only one of them.

 

PLAYERS OF THE ANORTHOSIS FOOTBALL CLUB GET COVID VACCINE

 

Players of the Anorthosis football team got their jab of the COVID-19 vaccine before their participation in the European fixtures.

According to a statement from Demetris Christoforou, a spokesman for the club, the team decided to green light the vaccination in order for them to be eligible for the green pass required to travel abroad.

Upon being asked if the vaccines would play a role in bringing about a better future, Mr. Christoforou praised the medical community, saying that it was only medicine that could end the pandemic.

He further added that he hopes that the vaccine, along with a future drug specifically for the virus is the aim, and will help footballers and the sporting community at large in gaining back their motivation.

He went on to explain how difficult it is for footballers to maintain motivation when playing without people. The vaccine will help people get back to where they used to be – faster.

Those who were vaccinated will have the day off.

Players from the Aei, Omonia and Apollon clubs have already received their doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

 

CYPRUS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN OCTOBER 2021

 

The Cyprus Institute (CyI) is all set to hold its 2nd International Conference on Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East on the 13th and 14th of October 13.

These dates come just before the 2021 edition of COP 26, the global climate to be held in Glasgow in November.

The Cyl conference will be held in the hybrid format, with some sessions held in person in Cyprus and being held online.

Participants in the conference will include regional government officials, policymakers, international scientists, and key decision-makers and experts.

They will be discussing various recommendations – based on which they will be prepare the Regional Climate Action Plan for the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME).

The first edition of the CyI conference was held in 2018. It led to the government starting with the Eastern Mediterranean Middle East Climate Change Initiative, which coordinates the regional climate action in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

 

WOMAN KILLED ON HIGHWAY HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED

 

A woman who had been killed while walking along a highway has been identified.

The Cyprus Police revealed in a statement that the deceased woman was a 52-year-old Bulgarian national, who lived and worked in Cyprus.

The claim comes after the police’s public request to help identify the woman.

She was killed by a speeding car while she was walking along the highway to the airport from Larnaca via the Kalo Chorio roundabout.

The person driving the car was a 65-year-old man, who also suffered injuries and taken to Larnaca general hospital along with the woman.

The woman ultimately succumbed to her injuries. Meanwhile, the man was give a drug and an alcohol test, both of which came back negative.

The police confiscated his car and ultimately found that the woman was in fact walking in the middle of the highway when she was hit.

The woman had no living relatives on the island nation. A friend of the woman helped the police identify her body.

 

HOUSING IS CHEAPER BUT FOOD IS COSTLIER THAT EU AVERAGE IN CYPRUS

 

A study has revealed that despite being a relatively cheaper country to live in, Cyprus has costlier prices when it comes to furnishings, food and, communication.

The study conducted by Eurostat, which compared the prices of over ten categories of products in an interactive graph, showed the differences in prices between a country and both of its EU and non-EU counterparts.

The data for Cyprus showed that for most products, the price indices were lesser than the EU’s average. For instance, Cyprus’ footwear and clothing price level index (PLI) stood at 95.3 per cent, much lower than the EU’s average of 100. Hotel and restaurants were at a lower level at 87.3, compared to EU’s 100 average. Cultural and recreational activities stood at 91.3, compared to EU’s 100 average. Tobacco and alcohol was at 91.3 compared to EU’s 100 average. Cyprus also has a remarkably low price index for housing – 26.2 percent – much lesser than most EU countries.

Cyprus, however, did show higher PLI levels when it came to some categories. Food, for instance stood at a 106.9 PLI, high than EU’s 100 average. Similarly, communications were priced at 9.7 above the EU’s average PLI. Last but not the least, the PLI for furniture stood at 2.8% higher than the EU average.

Price level index is calculated by taking the present nominal exchange rate of a country and dividing it by its Purchasing power parities (PPPs).

 

MAN TO STAND TRIAL FOR RAPE

 

The Cyprus News Agency has reported that the man will be standing trail for raping a woman.

The man, 24, will be standing trial at the criminal court in Paphos.

Until his court appearance, he will stay in police custody.

The man was arrested after his victim, a 24-year-old female had filed a complaint with law enforcement. She gave a statement on how a stranger dragged her and raped her against her will in the Ayios Antonios church’s courtyard.

She also gave the police a description of the man, which helped the police find and arrest him.

 

SOUTH AFRICAN FUGITIVE ARRESTED

 

The Cyprus Police has arrested a criminal fugitive from South Africa.

The man, 57, who has been on the South African authorities’ wanted list for theft and fraud, was arrested in Larnaca.

Found in his home in Larnaca, the man is currently being detained at the police station’s holiding cell. He will soon be transferred to court where the proceedings for his extradition to South Africa shall begin.

The Cyprus police found the fugitive through information from the European Union & International Police Cooperation Directorate (EU and IPCD). These received the information from Interpol.

 

CYPRUS ELECTS ITS FIRST EVER WOMAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

 

The island nation has elected its first ever female speaker.

Annita Demetriou, 35, a member of the ruling conservative Democratic Rally party shall be presiding over the parliament as speaker.

Backed by the far-right party ELAM, the Democratic Front, and of course, her own party, she will serve as the second highest in hierarchy – right after the president.

Trained formally as a political scientist, Demetriou has proven herself to be one of best politicians of her party.

 

TOP UN OPERATIONS OFFICIAL TO VISIT CYPRUS

 

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations’ head of Peace Operations will be paying four-day-long visit to Cyprus.

The announcement was made at the UN Headquarters during their routine international briefing, where Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric communicated the news to the spectators and the public.

Lacroix main mission in Cyprus would be to oversee the UN Peacekeeping mission. To that end, he will be visiting the representative of the Greek and Turkish communities.

The peacekeeping mission was set up in the island nation due to its reunification issue.

Cyprus has been a divided island since 1974, after the Turkish military invaded the island’s northern half and seized the area.

 

CYPRUS BANS ALLOWING TRAVELLERS WITH HISTORY OF VISITING INDIA

 

In its bid to keep COVID-19 out from its shores, Cyprus has banned travelers with a recent history of visiting India.

The logic behind the step is to keep away and be safe from the B.1.617 variant – a new and deadlier variant of COVID-19 that originated in India and predominantly circulates there.

The rule, however, does not apply to those who are citizens and legal residents of the island nation.

Those belonging to this category need to undergo a PCR test and test negative for COVID-19 72 hours before arrival, and then get tested immediately upon arrival. Furthermore, they will have to stay in quarantine for 10 days, regardless of the result.

Aside from the original variant, the UK variant of COVID-19 currently predominated in Cyprus. The B.1.617 variant, however is slowly creeping in the population as well.

Over 40% of the country’s population has been administered the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR OVERSTAYING HIS VISA

 

The Cyprus Police has arrested a 29-year-old man for unlawfully staying in Cyprus.

The man – an Indian national, was arrested from the Paphos airport after being flagged by immigration authorities for overstaying his visa permit period.

Upon further checking, it was found that the man was staying in the island nation as an EU citizen’s dependent. His permit, however, revealed that the limit of his stay passed in November 2020.

The man is currently detained at Polis Chrysochous police station, pending his immigration and deportation procedures.

 

9 MORE PEOPLE FINED IN VIOLATION OF COVID CURFEWS

 

The Cyrpus Police announced the fining of 9 persons after checking over 3,000 persons for violation of the Covid curfew.

The check, carried out on a series of 3 days, led to 9 people being fined in total – 5 on the first day, 3 on the second and 1 on the third.

The fine incident happened in Paphos and Famagusta. Meanwhile no violations were reported in Morphou.

The marine authorities also made over a hundred checks but did not report any violations.

The reasons for breaches were cited as not having a face mask, and not following the 1am curfew without a legitimate reason, along with other traffic violations.

 

CYRPUS TO SHUT ITS AIRSPACE TO FLIGHTS AND AIRLINERS FROM BELARUS

 

In response to a forced passenger jet landing, the government of Cyprus has banned all incoming flights from the country of Belarus.

Cyprus has joined the long line of EU countries that has previously imposed the same restriction.

According to a statement by the Cypriot ministry of transport, the island nation has prohibited by law all incoming flights registered in Belarus from entering the Cypriot airspace. In return, all Cyprus registered flights will also not be entering the Belarusian airspace.

The issue that has sparked this outrage is the Belarusian authorizes forcefully getting a Ryanair plane landed, and having a dissident journalist who was on board the plane.

The only exemptions to the law are in case of medical or humanitarian emergencies.

 

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL STAY IN CYPRUS

 

The Cyprus Police recently arrested a middle-aged woman for illegally staying on the island nation.

According to a statement from the police, the arrest was made after the woman was discovered in a block of apartments in Paphos’s Tafoi Vasileon Avenue.

The woman, an asylum seeker had submitted a request for it in the first week of March 2019 – which was rejected in January 2021 after more than a year and a half.

The woman continued to stay in Cyprus after not appealing for a stay order within the 38-day stipulated period, and then seemed to have gone missing altogether.

 

CYPRUS POLICE INVESTIGATING A CASE OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

 

The Criminal Investigative Department of Paphos police are investigating a case of attempted murder, which was sparked off from a an argument in a parking lot.

The argument began when a 43-year-old man visiting relatives in an apartment building in

According to the police, a man, 43, who had visited relatives at an apartment building in Chlorakas, began to argue with an asylum seeker, 39, over a space in the building’s parking lot.

After the argument, the 43-year-old went on to purposely drive his car towards the 39-year-old, hit him and then fled the scene. The younger man suffered fractures in his right leg.

Once the police obtained evidence, they arrested the 43-year-old man. He will be presented in court at a later date for sentencing.

 

MOTHER CAUGHT TRYING TO PASS EXAM WITH DAUGHTER’S IDENTITY PAPERS

 

An elderly woman was caught trying to take an exam while posing as her daughter.

The woman, 67, had showed up to take what would be her daughter’s state university entry exams using the ID papers belonging to her daughter, 25.

The arrest was made after the police received a complaint from someone at Larnaca High School regarding an older woman giving exams suspicious.

Weirdly, there was no record of anyone fitting the description of the daughter to have ever expressed interest in giving such exams, let alone showing up for them.

The 67-year-old woman has been charged in writing for the time being. She will be presented in court at a later date.

 

TURMOIL CYPRUS HAS HIRED A BUNKER TRADER

 

Turmoil, the marine fuel supplier company has hired a new bunker trader. The hired bunker trader is none other than Dmitry Gruzintsev, who joined the company on June 1st, 2020.

According to a statement by the company, Dmitry is clearly the best choice for the position, having extensive experience in the Russian Far East, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Within these, he has further experience in working with a wide variety of people, including trading companies, surveyors and physical suppliers.

The announcement comes after Termoil’s recent one where they had rehired Bjarke Staal as the company’s general manager.

 

RUSSIAN CITIZEN REPORTEDLY MISSING IN CYPRUS

 

The Cyprus Police is on the lookout for a 56-year-old woman, who has reportedly been missing since Saturday.

The woman, a Russian citizen, was last seen by passers-by on the day she was to leave the island nation.

She has been described as Ekaterina Romanova – a Russian woman – 1.75 meters tall and of average built. Witnesses placed her last holidaying in coastal region of Larnaca, wearing black top and white trousers.

 

BRITISH WOMAN DIES AFTER ALLEGED REACTION TO COVID VACCINE

 

A 39-year-old woman has died after a blood clotting incident, allegedly from complications arising after taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

The woman, a citizen of the UK, who was under treatment in the ICU section of the Nicosia General Hospital, had received the AstraZeneca jab’s first dose.

Her symptoms began days after this development. Eventually, she died of excessive blood clotting, which irreversibly impaired her bodily functions.

According to Charalambos Charilaou, a spokesman for the government health services, the incident is being taken very seriously, and will be further investigated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Incidentally, the island nation is currently investigating 3 other – but more “mild” clotting incidents caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 1 by the Pfizer vaccine.

 

LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS EASED IN CYRPUS

 

The lockdown restrictions are being eased in view of the decrease in novel coronavirus cases.

For starters, the limits to gatherings have been increased to 20 – minors and permanent residents included. Furthermore, the maximum capacity in indoor public spaces (such as casinos, fairs, places of worship, performing arts centers and theaters) has been increased to 50% of the total capacity. Entrants are still required to carry their SafePass to access them.

Indoor dining in restaurants has been relaxed, subject to the individual venues’ health protocols, as has the group tutorials for kids below the age of 18.

All of the above only apply so long as the citizens have a negative COVID test that is less than 72-hours-old.

The overnight curfew from 00:00 to 5:00 AM shall remain in effect until further notice.

 

CYPRUS HAS THE CLEANEST WATERS IN THE EU, SAYS STUDY

 

The European Environment Agency has declared Cyprus to have the cleanest swimming waters in all of the European Union.

According to a report by the environmental watchdog, the swimming waters of the island nation received the coveted 100% excellence score, defeating Austria, Greece, and Malta – which stood 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

The European Environment Agency tested over 112 swimming spots all over the island between the dates of May 1st to October 31st, 2020.

The news is being regarded as a great one by Cypriot authorities, as they reckon it will help boost confidence amongst prospective holiday goers – after seeing more than a year of tourist rates plunging by over 85% percent since 2019. This is an alarming statistic for a country for tourism makes up for over 13% of the GDP.

According to a statement by Costas Kadis, the Environment Minister, the results shall be extremely beneficial, for the basic reason that tourism is directly impacted by the quality of bathing water – something that is particularly of interest after the rise of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

CYPRUS TO RECEIVE OVER 400,000 COVID-19 VACCINES

 

Amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases, the country is set to receive over 400,000 doses of the vaccine.

The batch to be delivered to the island nation will contain all the four vaccines that the EU has currently approved for emergency use.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the doses will be very helpful in preventing further spread of the deadly disease.

According to the Cypriot Ministry of Health, the current situation vis-à-vis COVID-19 has been very disappointing as of late. The number of positive cases rose by over 10,000 in the second and third weeks of April – higher than anything the country has ever seen before.

Surprisingly, the number of younger people contracting the disease has increased – over 65 percent of the affected were between the ages of 20 and 59, whereas 23.2 percent consisted of children below the age of 19.

 

US AMBASSADOR IN CYPRUS SENDS MESSAGE OF HOPE

 

In the middle of grim situation due to the pandemic and the collapse of the latest round of Cyprus talks, Judith Garber, the US Ambassador to Cyprus, said that the nation shall continue to support and develop both the international and internal situation in Cyprus.

In an Easter message video, the ambassador said that it was important to spread the ray of hope – especially given the current nature of circumstances.

She wished everyone in Cyprus a happy holiday and proceeded to explain how it was indeed a complicated year for all – especially those who fell gravely ill or lost their loved ones.

She nonetheless urged people to maintain their optimism, as the situation, no matter how grave will turn better.

And with the vaccines rolling out, it will not be long before things will be safe once again.

 

THE FIRES IN NICOSIA HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL

 

Bushfires in Nicosia have been extinguished by the fire department.

According to a statement by the fire services, the first of these fires, which broke out near the Stelios Ioannou foundation in Strovolos. This fire spread to an area as large as five land donums before it was brought into control.

The second fire broke out in Nisou village and burned off one donum full of trees before it was brought under control.

 

NIKOS CHRISTODOULIDES AND WANG YI SPEAK ON THE PHONE

 

In what is being considered a landmark political conversation between Cyprus and China, the foreign ministers of the two nations participated in a phone conversation vis-à-vis the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cypriot foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides thanked Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi for the help they offered China in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He also declared that Cyprus was “all in” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Cyprus-China diplomatic relations.

Mr. Christodoulides went on to add that the island nation fully supports the one-China principle and will stay on to play a positive role there. He then briefed Mr. Yi on the UN-sponsored informal meeting on that will be held in Geneva.

He ended the call by appreciating China’s fair stand on the Cyprus issues and said that they hope the country maintains the same.

 

THOUSANDS OF ILLEGAL FIRECRACKERS CONFISCATED IN THREE DAYS

 

Cypriot news portal Philenews has reported that the police has found and confiscated over 2,000 different firecrackers over the course of three days.

Furthermore, the police revealed that they had found and confiscated over 50,000 firecrackers along with 7,000 fireworks.

What is interesting is that despite these confiscations, the police did not get any reports of firecracker injuries – especially in relation to the Easter celebrations.

Cyprus saw an amazingly high number of firecracker celebrations during Easter, despite the ban on crackers due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

DEAD BODY FOUND NEAR LIOPETRI

 

The police in Famagusta has found and recovered the dead body of the 65-year-old man.

The body was previously witnessed by passers-by floating in the sea near the Liopetri coast at around noon.

After one of said passers-by made a complaint, the matter came to the attention of the Famagusta police, who then cordoned-off the area.

After conducting their tests and examinations, they came to the conclusion that the man had in fact died from natural causes.

The police has completely ruled out any possibility of foul play.

The 65-year-old man has been identified as an amateur fisherman who frequented the area.

 

CYPRUS WILL TAKE PART IN TESTS FOR GENERATING DIGITAL CERTIFICATES FOR COVID-19

 

Cyprus will take part in the European Commission’s technical trials for the soon-to-be-launched digital green certificate system for COVID-19.

The system, which is set to be adopted in all of Europe, is currently being beta tested by 16 of its member states – including the island nation of Cyprus.

According to a European Union official who spoke to the press in Brussels, Cyprus happens to be among the first crop of countries that will start a virtual technical trial in conjunction with the EU and the EC.

He further added that the European digital portal will have tremendous benefits, especially that it will serve to connect the systems in every European country.

He concluded his speech by saying that the system shall be safe and respectful of the peoples’ private data and shall maintain full secrecy of the information it has and/or uses.

 

MAN WHO SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK WHILE SWIMMING ADMITTED IN ICU

 

In a tragic incident, a young man was admitted in a hospital’s ICU wing after suffering from a heart attack during a swimming lap.

According to a report by the Cyprus News Agency, the man, aged 27, lost consciousness while swimming in the Dimotika Bania in the late hours of the morning.

Other fellow swimmers and members of the public brought the man back to the shore. The ambulance services and police were both notified immediately, who transported the young man to the A&E of Paphos Hospital.

The man remained intubated in the hospital for a while before regaining consciousness. He is still in the ICU though.

According to the doctors, the man, who they say has some serious pathological issues – remains in serious condition.

 

CYPRIOT PASSPORTS RANKED 13TH IN THE WORLD

 

The Henley Passport Index has ranked Cyprus as the 13th best passport in the world when it comes to the extent of its reach.

Those who hold a Cyprus passport can travel without visa to 176 different destinations.

The report, which was published in the second quarter of 2021, studies over 199 passports and indexes 110 ranks, based on the number of visa-free destination it has.

The Henley website says that their ranking is an authoritative and original ranking of all the world’s passports based on the number of countries they can travel to without prior visa applications.

They source their data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and enhances them through their in-house research team.

In the latest rankings, the rankings placed Japan at the first rank – a country whose passport holders can travel to 193 countries visa-free. This is followed by Singapore and South Korea at 192 and 191 countries.

In contrast, Afghanistan had the lowest rank, with a passport that gives access only to 26 visa-free countries.

 

UN-SPONSORED INFORMAL TALKS ON CYPRUS REUNIFICATION FALLS APART

 

In what is being regarded as another low in the series of negative developments regarding the Cyprus reunification issue, the latest series of talks has also resulted into failure.

The talks, which are informal in nature and sponsored by the United Nations, resulted in neither party coming to any kind of common ground.

The news was announced by the António Guterres, who revealed the negative development happened after over 3 days of talks between officials from the Greek and Turkish Cyprus “nations.”

He continued, however, that this development will not deter him from his resolve to fix the issue. He added that a further round of informal talks are being planned in the next few months.

 

TURKISH VICE-PRESIDENT TO PAY A VISIT TO TURKEY CYPRUS

 

Fuat Oktay, the vice-president of Turkey is set to pay a visit to Turkish Cyprus.

According to government sources, Vice-President Fuat Oktay has plans to hold some official talks on his visit as well.

Other plans include inspection of a site in Guvercinlik Village, meeting the mayor of the municipality of Gazimagusa, and attending the premiere screening of the much-hyped TV show Bir Zamanlar Kibris (Once Upon a Time in Cyprus).

Guvercinlik is the site where industrial zone is being planned to be built, as part of an economic and financial agreement between the two regions.

 

THE HALLOUM CHEESE WINS ORDER OF PROTECTION FROM THE EU

 

The traditional cheese of Halloumi has been granted a place in the European Union’s list of Protected Designations of Origins.

The cheese variety, which is called hellim in Turkish language, has long since been in controversy on the topic of its origins.

Thus far, both Turkey and Cyprus have been marketing it under their names.

That will no longer be the case, however, since the European Union has made the landmark decision of recognizing the halloumi cheese as a product exclusive to Cyprus.

President Nicos Anastasiades welcomed the decision and announced it in his tweet. He further added how the prized cheese is now under protection.

The designation awarded to Cyprus shall be formally adopted in the middle of April 2021.

 

CYPRUS TO BUY SPUTNIK V COVID-19 VACCINES

 

In light of the crisis surrounding AstraZeneca vaccines, Cyprus has decided to buy at least fifty thousand doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, pending approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

According to a statement by government spokesperson Kyriakos Koushos, the move is part of the bilateral agreement made with Russia earlier this year.

He further added that the possibility of buying more of such vaccines exists in the future.

Thus far, the EMA has only approved 4 vaccines – those by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and of course AstraZeneca.

Chinese news agency Xinhua says that thus far, 2 EU countries – Slovakia and Hungary have so far bought the Sputnik V vaccines.

 

CYPRUS MARKING EOKA STRUGGLE’S 66TH ANNIVERSARY

 

The island nation of Cyprus is all set to mark the 66th anniversary of the infamous Eoka struggle.

Launched on April 1, 1955, the purpose of the struggle was to gain independence from British rule.

The occasion will start with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades attending a church service at the Ayios Ioannis cathedral, followed by attending the memorial service of the Imprisoned Graves.

Given the pandemic situation, no other big events surrounding the struggle have been announced.

The Eoka struggle is one of the biggest historical events of Cyprus. Lasting from 1955 to 1959, the struggle is what ultimately led to Cyprus becoming an independent state, he added.

 

CYRPUS TO RESUME USING ASTRAZENECA VACCINE AFTER ALL-CLEAR

 

After weeks of controversy surrounding the safety of AstraZeneca vaccines, Cyprus will finally recontinue vaccinations using the company’s COVID-19 vaccine – after getting the all-clear on its safety and efficacy by the European Medicines Authority (EMA).

According to a statement by the Cyprus Health Ministry, the health authorities of the island nation had suspended use of the vaccines since March 15 and had been waiting for a proper signal from the European drugs regulator.

According to a statement by the EMA, they are positive that the AstraZeneca vaccine’s benefits far outrank its potential risks.

This result comes after a large-scale investigation finding out if the vaccine indeed caused – or at least exacerbated blood disorders – and led to over a dozen nations discontinuing its use.

 

CYPRUS TO WELCOME TOURISTS FROM THE UK

 

The Cypriot government has confirmed that it is ready to welcome back tourists from the UK pending the lifting of the existing coronavirus restrictions.

According to their statement, while the current ban on travel in the UK is set to stay till may 17th, the Cypriot authorities are ready to welcome visitors from the Thursday. The 1st of April.

The island nation now has a separate set of protocols reviving its suffering tourism industry, and according to those, anyone visiting from the UK can avoid quarantine, provided they have a negative PCR Covid test.

The facility is now also available to children between the ages of 12-18.

Starting May 1, arrivals who have been fully vaccinated can enter without testing and will not be subjected to quarantine rules. That being said, they could still be subject random spot-testing on some flights, depending on the situation.

 

CYPRUS OPENING ITS DOORS TO MAIN TOURIST MARKETS

 

Cyprus is all set to open up its border to 16 different countries that were previously not on its safe list.

The countries in question include the US and UK, Qatar, Belarus, Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, Ukraine, Serbia, Israel, and Russia.

From April 1, visitors from these countries will not be required to follow any quarantine rules. They will still need to carry a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival and be prepared for any spot testing.

Furthermore, the island nation will allow vaccinated British tourists to enter sans restrictions.

All said and done, all tourists (regardless of where they arrived from) will need to follow basic protocol such as using sanitizers, wearing masks, and social distancing.

The changes have been made keeping the failing Cyprus tourism industry in mind. Tourism, which constitutes around 15% of the GDP, has seen its earnings plunge to over 85% in 2020.

 

ATTEMPT TO HACK CYPRIOT DEFENSE MINISTRY’S WEBSITE WENT UNSUCCESSFUL

 

The Cyprus News Agency has reported that someone tried to hack the website of the Cyprus Defense Ministry but was unsuccessful.

According to a reliable source from the Defense Ministry, despite the attempt, the website did not suffer any damage as the effort was stopped in time.

The source further added that this incident only serves to prove that the Defense Ministry is very sincere in taking every measure to both address and prevent actions set to undermine its functioning.

 

ISRAEL’S MILITARY TO HOLD GIANT ‘WAR MONTH’ EXERCISE ON CYPRUS

 

The Israeli military is set to hold a mass exercise on Cyprus.

According to the Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom, the elite units of the Israeli armed forces will use Cyprus as a substitute for Samaria, Judea, and the Gaza Strip.

The elite troops in question will include commandos and high-performing soldiers from the Air Force, Navy and Special Forces, along with the Depth Corps’ reserve and regular forces.

All of these are known to be specialized in conducting long-rage operations and carrying out missions deep within enemy territories.

The exercise is a part of the famed “war month” – a four-week-long exercise that simulates long-drawn battle conditions to assess and boost their wartime readiness. They will include a variety of maneuvers such as simulated combat and battle scenarios behind enemy lines.

So far, it is not known if Cypriot forces will be participating in the drill.

 

MAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER BEING ATTACKED BY GANG

 

A group of youths carried out a vicious attack on a man, which has led the latter to be hospitalized.

The man was taken to Paphos general hospital and admitted in their A&E department. One of the doctors there confirmed that he had sustained substantial bruising on his face.

The police were only alerted of the incident by the 37-year-old after he returned home to his village from the hospital.

According to the Cyprus New Agency, the police did get to the scene of the attack but did not find any youths there. Further identification is impossible since the victim could not identify any of his perpetrators.

The man, 37, was attacked by the gang of youths in the central Paphos area.

 

CYPRUS HAS ONE OF THE BEST CHILDHOOD CANCER SURVIVAL RATES

 

Cypriot Health Minister Cyprus Constantinos Ioannou has revealed that the island nation has one of the highest pediatric cancer survival rates worldwide.

On the occasion of International Childhood Cancer Day on February 15, the minister gave his regards to the children who have fought and survived cancer.

He also went on to give a shout out to the healthcare workers and staff of Makarios hospital’s pediatric cancer unit, emphasizing on how their continued efforts have made the statistic a reality.

Lastly, he thanks the paramedical community for their continued emergency services to help the hospital in its battle.

 

FIRMS ALLOWED TO DELAY THEIR VAT PAYMENTS TILL MARCH 2021

 

The Department of Taxation has allowed businesses to take more time in order to fulfill their value-added tax dues for the period of December 31, 2020 to January 31, 2021.

Usually, the tax for the period must be paid between February 10 and March 10, 2021. But the Tax Department has made the concession to allow businesses to forego monthly payments and pay in three monthly installments instead.

Those companies which have tax due for both of the above periods must pay their first installment by April 10, 2021, second by May 10, 2021, and the third on June 10, 2021.

Companies are not obligated or mandated to pay their due in equal installments. They can pay their entire liability with no interest or incurring charges by April 10, 2021.

 

EXCESS INFLUX OF MIGRANTS FORCES CYPRUS TO SEEK ASSISTANCE

 

The migrants’ crisis has taken a toll on the Cypriot administration, which in turn has led to the island nation calling for international assistance to best deal with the situation.

In a joint statement to the press, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris and Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Interior Minister Nicos Nouris have expressed the country’s concern over handling the scores of migrants constantly arriving on their shores.

The statement said that as of now, the number of applicants seeking asylum is equivalent to 4% of the island nation’s population – an alarmingly high percentage compared to the less than 1% in any other European country.

 

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS TO BE EASED IN NORTHERN CYPRUS

 

The government has announced that the restrictions will be eased in the view of declining COVID-19 cases.

Turkish Cyprus Prime Minister Ersan Saner has revealed that the region will reduce the current level of restrictions beginning the 22nd of February.

If the decline in cases continues, then businesses, shops, and other economic activities will continue to reopen.

Eventually, all that will remain is the curfew between the hours of 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. during the weekends.

Under the new ease of restrictions, markets shall remain open from between 8 a.m.- 6 p.m and merchandising and retail services shall remain open from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m on the weekdays. All places selling essential goods (such as groceries, pharmacies, bakeries, supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations) will remain open from between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. every Saturday.

Only bakeries and pharmacies will remain open on Sundays.

Schools shall remain closed and online classes will continue till at least the 28th of February.

 

EXPLOSIVE DEVICE DETONATED IN LIMASSOL

 

The detonation of an explosive device has destroyed a car in Ekali, Limassol.

The police have revealed that the car, which they believe was targeted purposefully was parked outside a home belonging to a 40-year-old man. The vehicle itself belongs to the father-in-law of said man.

The man reported the incident to the police as a “deafening explosion” that had occurred around 4 AM in the morning.

Although the fire service was called in to take care of the situation, the car had already been destroyed by the detonated device.

Besides the car itself, the fragments from the explosion shattered the windows of another nearby home.

An investigation is being conducted into the matter. As of yet, the true motive behind the perpetrators’ actions are not clear.

 

6 CARS DESTROYED IN FREAK ACCIDENT

 

A freak accident in Larnaca led to a fire which destroyed 6 cars on a street.

The accident happened as a short circuit lit up a barrel of oil that was stored in the garage. After damaging the building’s garage, ground floor and second floor, the fire spread as the flame spread down the road straight into a car. It then further expanded to gut 6 other cars before it was stopped.

The initial call made to the fire department was at 4 AM. By this time, the fire had already spread to two cars. By the time the fire brigade had arrived, all of 6 cars were on fire.

The fire brigade used over an hour to extinguish the fire.

As of now, the area of accident has been sealed, and an investigation is being conducted to determine the exact reason why the freak accident happened in the first place.

 

SEVERAL FINED AS POLICE BROKE UP A BIRTHDAY PARTY

 

The coronavirus restrictions are here to stay, and the latest incident only proves how serious the authorities can get with those who violate them.

Limassol Police found and broke up an illegal mass gathering for a birthday party taking place at a restaurant.

They proceeded to fine the owner €1,500, and fined another 13 people.

Ten of these were foreign nationals and three others were locals. They have been fined €300 each.

This incident is one of many that have been reported in the last few weeks. The last incident before this was the busting of an illegal club consisting of several visitors along with three DJs.

 

JOHAN WALEM EXITS POSITION AS NATIONAL TEAM COACH

 

The Cyprus National Team’s coach Johan Walem has vacated his post as the national team manager for the men’s team.

The decision, which is apparently by mutual consent of Mr. Walem and the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) was announced by the latter in a press release.

The press release went on to thank Mr. Walem for his time and involvement in the national men’s football team, and wished him the best for his future endeavors.

Meanwhile several names have been linked to the termination. This includes high-profile personalities such as Chrysis Michael (the manager of Karmiotissa club), along with the Greek Traianos Dellas, Christos Kontis and Nikos Kostenoglou.

Appointed on the 25th of January in  2020, Mr. Walem hasn’t has the best of experiences when it comes to the records of the Cyprus national team. He recorded four losses, one draw and one win out of a total six matches in the UEFA Nations League.

 

COLOR-CODING SYSTEM ADOPTED FOR AIRPORTS REOPENING

 

Starting March 1st, 2021, Cyprus will be reopening its airports using a risk-assessment system that is based on color-coding.

The color-coding system, which is meant for both tourists and diplomats, are being implemented to keep health safety in check in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As of now, the system is in place for all EU member states, along with “third” countries like Israel, the UK and Russia.

In a statement to the press, the ministry of transport announced that it will be extending mandatory quarantine rule till March 31st. This rule, which has been in place since December 2020, is applicable for anyone who is traveling from the UK.

Those arriving from countries in the “amber” list will be required to have tested negative on a PCR test 72 hours before arrival, along with the upon-arrival test. Those on the red list will be required to take double of the same tests.

Meanwhile, those arriving from countries on the “green” list (i.e. from safe countries with a lower incidence of COVID-19 caseload) would only need to give a free and compulsory PCR test upon arrival.

The coding system will be subject to change weekly on the basis of the country’s situation.

 

TOURISTS ARRIVALS GO DOWN BY OVER 90% IN JANUARY

 

The coronavirus pandemic has wrecked havoc over the travel industry worldwide, and Cyprus, of course, is no exception to this. The island nation, which had seen a substantial increase in tourist arrivals last January, has in this one seen a dip in numbers like no other.

In January 2021, Cyprus had all of 3,889 tourist arrivals – a far cry from the 85,622 tourist arrivals in the same time last year.

The data, which has been published by the Cyprus statistical service (Cystat) further, showed that the return rate has similarly gone down – from 134,507 in January 2020 to only 13,307 in January 2021. This is only 10% of the total number of returns in 2020.

Most of the arrivals in January 2021 were from neighboring country Greece at a whopping 48.4%, followed by Germany at 8.8%.

As for returnees, most of them came back from Russia, Greece and the United Kingdom.

The information quoted for January 2021 was derived from the processing of the data of the “Cyprus Flight Pass” – an electronic platform where all passengers traveling to and/or from Cyprus must disclose their travel-related data in. Data includes the which all passengers aiming to travel to Cyprus must submit with information in relation to their flight, their country of residence, the purpose of their visit, as well as other demographic characteristics.

 

EFG INTERNATIONAL INCREASES ITS PRESENCE IN CYPRUS

 

Popular international private bank EFG International is tackling the Brexit issue by expanding overseas.

As part of its latest move, the financial institution will be expanding further in Cyprus.

Though the Zurich-based bank has already conducted business in the island nation for over 6 years. However, it will now be expanding its licenses to capitalize on growth in the country.

A statement issued by the bank itself says that they will establish 2 new subsidiaries before the middle of February, namely the EFG Private Bank (UK) Limited and the EFG Cyprus Limited. Both subsidiaries will be located in Nicosia. Additionally, another office will be opened in Limassol in the months to follow.

The Cyprus subsidiary shall be managed via the EFG office in London, UK. Demetris Pisiaras, an EFG banker in the region with over 20 years of experience will be heading all operations in Cyprus.

 

THOUSANDS OF BIRDS SPEND THE WINTER IN CYPRUS, SAYS STUDY

 

The results of a brand new study has revealed that more than 17,000 birds spend the winter season in the wetlands of Cyprus.

The study, conducted by the game and wildlife service and BirdLife Cyprus surveyed over 50 different locations on the island nation, and went on to record around 17,000 migratory waterbirds from 68 species.

The most recorded of these was the flamingo, which made up for around 8,000 birds. This was followed by the common teal, which are around 2,200 in number.

Area-wise, the largest number of waterbirds were found in the Larnaca salt lake, which had over 11,000 birds across 30 species. This was followed by the Akrotiri peninsula salt lakes (with a total of 2,700 birds), the Oroklini lake (with a total of 1,100 birds) and finally the Paralimni lake (with under 900).

The study and survey was conducted in honor of the World Wetlands Day, which is celebrated on the 2nd of February every year.

 

CYTA’S 5G NETWORK LAUNCHED IN CYPRUS

 

Telecommunications company Cyta has announced the launch of its first ever 5G network service in Cyprus.

The company, which is working in collaboration with Vodafone claims that the joint venture will serve to mark a new beginning for an era of superior technological innovations.

According to a live social media presentation by Cyta’s CEO Andreas Neokleous, the service will provide high speeds of up to 1Gbps, along with better connectivity when the same network is connected to multiple devices.

He claims, however, that these improvements will only be the beginning of what is yet to come. The company plans to use the 5G technology to create innovations in several sectors including (but not limited to) agriculture, health, transport, education, and environment.

The combined Cytamobile-Vodafone 5G network currently has a coverage range of 70 per cent. The plan for them is to reach at least 98 per cent within the next 12 months.

All those currently subscribing to Cytamobile-Vodafone – be they companies or individual subscribers, shall get 5G access without any extra charge. All that is needed is a Cyta-certified 5G device that must stay within the coverage area.

 

CYPRUS AND UAE HAVE SIGNED THEIR FIRST MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT

 

Cyprus and the UAE have signed their first ever agreement.

The signing comes as a part of Cyprus’ initiative to strengthen relations with its neighboring countries, especially those that are in the Middle East.

The island nation has already done much in this regard, having signed other similar military agreements with Jordan, Egypt, and Israel. The armed forces of these countries today are known to hold joint exercises. In addition to these, Cyprus is also in the process of training the Lebanese army.

According to a statement issued by the Defense Ministry of Cyprus, the Cyprus-UAE agreement will include joint training exercises, cooperative military maneuvers, and discussions on expanding the same.

The two countries’ military forces had previously interacted in the multi-nation joint activity called Medusa.

 

2ND NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN IMPOSED IN CYPRUS

 

In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the government of Cyprus has imposed a new lockdown in hopes of curbing the spread of the disease.

In a statement to the press, Constantinos Ioannou, the Health Minister announced that the restrictions, which start on the 31st of January, will stay in effect for a minimum of 3 weeks.

Under these rules, people can go out of their homes for a maximum of 2 times a day for exercise or essential activities. People can only avail the approval through a mobile text messaging system.

All non-essential business will remain shut for the duration of the lockdown. This includes cinemas, salons, gyms, museums, theatres and other places of interest.

Unlike the previous lockdown, however, ports and airports shall remain open.

 

LOST ART DISCOVERED IN CYPRUS

 

A rare piece of art that was until recently considered lost has been discovered.

The art in question is a highly rare relief made out of concrete created by Christoforos Savva, known for being one of Europe’s greatest artists during the 1960s. It used to be up on the wall of the now-defunct Perroquet nightclub located in the abandoned town of Varosha. Varosha now lies in the Turkish side of a divided Cyprus.

Credits to the resurfacing goes to a 93-year-old Greek Cypriot man who commissioned them and wants them to be transferred to their right owners.

The artwork has been discovered after more than 50 years of staying under the radar.

 

CYPRUS POLICE ISSUE MORE THAN A HUNDRED FINES FOR COVID LOCKDOWN VIOLATIONS IN A SINGLE DAY

 

Over  114 different persons, including one business owner were booked on grounds of violating COVID lockdown regulations.

According to a statement made by a spokesperson for the police, the bookings come after the police force carried out a massive 8,000-person search who appeared to not follow the exact rules of the lockdown.

Of course, those carrying out emergency and essential services, and having a genuine reason for being out of home were exempted. The rest were all booked for violation.

Incidentally, many of these were found to be looking to access nature trails, which is currently prohibited by the government.

The prohibition comes after a decree signed by the government after several people were observed crowding the Troodos square.

 

TRNC TAKES STAND AGAINST UN’S CYPRUS PEACE FORCE DECISION

 

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has taken a stand and spoken against the extended term of the UN Peacekeeping force in the island nation.

In a statement to the press and the public, the Foreign Ministry of the TRNC expressed their disapproval of the extension, explaining how their consent was once again not sought by the international organization.

They further added that the mandate approving the extension itself had several loop holes in it. For starters, it ignored the UN’s basic principles as regards the peacekeeping operations and has several other legal inefficiencies.

Furthermore, when they did make a request, the UN went on to disregard them entirely.

Finally, the TRNC iterated that despite the issues, they will continue to rally to be recognized as a valid political entity.

The peacekeeping force’s stay in Cyprus has been extended till July, 2021.

 

5.0 EARTHQUAKE HITS CYPRUS; NO DAMAGES OR INJURIES REPORTED SO FAR

 

The island nation was struck by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake in the afternoon hours.

While no substantial damages, deaths or injuries have been reported thus far, the incident did cause mass confusion and left hundreds scurrying from their homes.

According to a statement by the Cyprus Geological Survey, the earthquake happened at 4:27 p.m. in the afternoon, with an epicenter depth of 55 kilometres.

Tremors were felt over a large area, including the countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Syria.

Shocking as it was, the incident was not all that out of the ordinary, gives as the country is located in what is an active seismic zone, known to be responsible for over 15% of the earthquakes worldwide.

The last major quake seen by the island nation. It was 6.8 in magnitude, and occurred in 1996. It was touted as the biggest on the island in over 120 years.

 

€2,000 FINE SLAPPED ON MAN WHO AVOIDED HIS GAME SERVICE CHECK

 

The Cypriot police fined a 25-year-old gentleman with €2,000 for avoiding stopping for a Game Service check.

The man, who is from Paphos, was see driving a car in Ezousa, after which he was flagged by patrolling game wardens.

Despite the flag, the man failed to stop and continued to flee the area. The wardens were not fazed, however, as they had already taken down his license plate number and forwarded all necessary information to the police.

The police then successfully located the man, and promptly charged him with the fine.

In his defense, the man explained that he ran away out of abject fear. He then paid off the entire €2,000 fine.

 

PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES CONFIRMS HE IS READY TO RESUME CYPRUS TALKS

 

President Nicos Anastasiades of Greek Cyprus has expressed his readiness to resume talks of Cyprus settlement.

He did so by receiving the invite to the UN Secretary General’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute. He also informed her that Greek Cyprus will be ready to utilize the opportunity to come to a conclusion.

Ms Lute and the envoy had arrived in Cyprus a few weeks prior to make preparations for a five-pronged informal meeting.

Participants of the meeting will include Turkey, UK and Greece. All the three nations are guarantors of the island nation’s security, integrity and independence.

 

1 OUT OF 4 YOUNG CYPRIOTS SUFFER FROM INTERNET ADDICTION, SAYS STUDY

 

The results of a study by Alexander College has revealed that over 24% of young Cyrpiots have internet addiction, while approximately 8% undergo social media addiction.

The study was carried out behind closed doors as a pancyprian survey with the support of the Cyprus Addiction Treatment Authority (CETA). Besides Alexander College and the CETA, the survey was handled the Hellenic Bank and the Youth Board.

The sample for the survey had a total of 1,059 individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. 465 of these were full-time students, 437 were men and 622 were women.

The study also revealed a correlation between the over-reliance on technology and the lack of social skills, a lesser attention span and lessened ability to remember information.

 

BILL SEEKING BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS APPROVED

 

The island nation’s cabinet has approved the bill to ban the circulation and sale of of any type of disposable carrier bags made with thin plastic.

The new regulation shall apply on every usage point, including that of home and office deliveries.

Costas Kadis, the minister of Agriculture and the chief architect of the amendment, released his statement on the matter. The statement explained how the ban, though sudden, will help both citizens and visitors be more self-aware of their environmental footprint, which in turn will help benefit the future generations greatly.

The official cabinet announcement affirmed Minister Kadis’ statement, explaining how the approval is yet another step towards lessening the damaging impact plastic bags have upon the environment and the quality of lives of people in general.

The decision comes over 2.5 years after levying a charge on the use of said bags. In fact, it was part of the reason why this amendment was proposed in the first place. According to reports, the introduction of the charging system alone reduced thin plastic carrier bag usage by over 80%.

 

PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES FAILS TO WIN BUDGET APPROVAL

 

Nicos Anastasiades has failed to garner the a yes from lawmakers for this new 2021 budget.

It is being speculated that the rejection was made in the background of the fallout over the flawed investment-based citizenship program.

While 24 lawmakers did approve the budget, a vote of disapproval by 29 others meant that the budget would have to be thrown out.

Notably, the development has not been all that surprising, given as the Disy party, i.e. Anastasiades’s ruling party does not currently hold a majority in the Cypriot parliament.

 

€150,000 WORTH OF CASH AND JEWELRY STOLEN FROM NICOSIA HOME

 

In the latest incident, a residence in Nicosia was burgled, where the thieves in question broke in and took off with a safe containing jewelry and cash.

The break-in, which happened between the hours of 10:30am and 1:45pm, led to the theft of money and items worth a total of €150,000.

Nicosia’s Criminal Investigative Department are currently investigating into the matter.

 

CYPRUS LIFTS TRAVEL BAN FOR 56 COUNTRIES

 

The island nation of Cyprus will be lifting its travel ban on 56 different countries.

Many of these countries belong to the European Union and the European Economic Area in general.

The Cypriot government has also released new protocols and freshly divided arrivals from foreign countries into green, grey red and orange.

Both the ban lift and re-arrangement of protocols, which has been set according to the standards of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), will come into effect on the 15th of January, 2021.

 

CYPRUS AND INDIA REVIEW BILATERAL RELATIONS

 

The island nation has reviewed its level of cooperation with India in a bid to improve their bilateral relations.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (IMEA), various fields were discussed in this process. This included culture, consolatory, economics and of course, politics.

This was the fifth round of Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries.

Held on December 10,2020 on a virtual basis, the meeting was chaired by Thessalia Salina Shambos, the political director of the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Neeta Bhushan, Indian Joint Secretary of Central Europe.

Appreciating their already cordial relations, the two went on to review the various terms of their cooperation in order to make substantial improvements where possible.

According to the MEA’s statement, both the Cypriot and Indian sides reviewed the MoUs and agreements.

Other than the above-mentioned topics, issues such as sports, defense, military and the arts were discussed. Culture-specific topics, such as Ayurveda was also discussed.

Last but not the least, they discussed pertinent political matters that affect both nations – including the Indo-Pak conflict, the Northern Cyuprus issue, and EU-India relations.

 

RENEWALS ON ROAD TAX TO BEGIN ON JANUARY 7, 2021

 

The Cyprus road transport department has announced that the renewals shall begin on the 7th of January. The last date for said renewals will be March 11, 2021. Any renewals made after that will carry a surcharge.

Road tax renewals can be made for 3,6,9 or 12 months. All vehicles in said renewals are required to have insurance and an MOT.

In their announcement, the department encouraged vehicle owners to renew their road taxes in due course, and not wait till the last hour. They explained how such a callous behavior leads to a lot of inconvenience as the system gets overloaded.

They further added rgar those vehicle owners who had opted for renewals in 2020, but will not in 2021 are required to notify the department of such. They must complete form TOM12B and inform the government of their intent. Not doing so lead to surcharges and outstanding fees.

Vehicles left unrenewed in 2020 that have as of yet remained avoided being officially declared as immobilized will be taken of the registry. The only way to prevent this is for the owner to renew their road tax and pay off the outstanding fees before the March 11, 2021.

Finally, the department said that they will not be individually notifying owners to renew their road tax.

 

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS STARTING ON THE 27TH OF DECEMBER

 

Vaccinations to prevent the virus from proliferating will be starting on Sunday, the 27th of December.

According to an announcement by Olga Kalakouta, a senior health official, the first batch of Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Cyprus. She further explained that the vaccinations will take place through dedicated vaccination centers.

The goal of the health department is to carry out the vaccinations through all districts at the same time. The first to be vaccinated will be the health workers.

As of now, the consent forms have been sent to all the centers. Owners will be required to ask their staff for consenting to the vaccination. They will also be required to inform the ministry on the number of vaccines they need for their employees.

While Ms. Kalakouta has no knowledge of who will be the first person to receive the vaccine, reports suggest it may be the President Nicos Anastasiades. Moreover, his vaccination will be streamed live and filmed.

 

PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES TAKES TO SOCIAL MEDIA TO SEND PUBLIC MESSAGE

 

On the occasion of Christmas, President Nicos Anastasiades went on social media and wish the public good health, just as the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s upcoming arrival on Boxing Day.

The President added that with the pending arrival of the vaccines, people should now be hopeful of things becoming “more tangible” in the coming days.

He went on call the vaccine the “the gift of humanity by the scientific community,” and stated that he will be getting the vaccine himself live on television in order to convince the public about the vaccine’s safety.

Proper inoculations will be starting on the 27th, starting with elderly care home residents.

Cyprus currently has a total of 19,316 COVID-19 infections, with 107 deaths.

 

THIRD GROUP OF MIGRANTS ARRIVE IN CYPRUS

 

In the latest incident, a boat with over 21 migrants reached the shore of Cyprus.

This is the third boat full of migrants to arrive from Turkey in a single week.

According to the state radio, the police in Cyprus intercepted 21 migrants in the early hours of the morning. They were on a boat that was in all possibility transported by smugglers who travelled a total distance of around 70 kilometers.

Interestingly, the police did not find any trace of said smugglers.

 

RUSSIAN FRAUD SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

The Cyprus police has arrested a Russian national, who has been suspected of fraudulent activities.

The man, 33, has long since been suspected by the Russian authorities for embezzlement and fraud.

The man was located from a tip by Interpol based on information by the Russian Federation. The police in Limassol placed him under arrest, subject to being shown before a judge for arraignment.

The man has allegedly conspired with several people, and defrauded many individuals of a total sum of 68 million Russian rubles.

The crimes seem to have been committed in Russia between the years of 2015 to 2018.

 

MASSIVE DRUG BUST IN LIMASSOL

 

The Cyprus police found and seized 10 Kgs of cannabis and 0.5 Kgs of cocaine in Limassol.

Both varieties of narcotics were found in two separate incidents – one in the flat of a 20-year-old man, and the other with a 34-year-old man.

Both men were originally intercepted while driving in Limassol. The Narcotics police arrested them from their vehicles after they had received a trafficking-related tip-off.

In this case of the cannabis search, the 20-year-old consented his flat being searched. After being arrested for interrogation, the young man was remanded for 8 days at the district court in Limassol.

In the meantime, the 34-year-old cooperated with the police, and admitted to carrying 5 gms cocaine. He was released after being charged in writing.

 

FORMER GOOGLE CEO ERIC SCHMIDT HAS SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED FOR CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP

 

Eric Schmidt, the former CEO, has his Cyprus citizenship application approved.

According to a report by Recode, as well as an October notice in the Cyprus publication Alithia, Eric Schmidt along with and his family have won the approval to become Cypriot citizens.

The report further added the repercussion of this move, one of them being that the new citizenship will allow Schmidt to move around several travel bans and go more freely within the European Union.

The Cyprus citizenship will also help him get some new tax benefits, given that he did apply via the “Citizenship by Investment” scheme. Unlike other methods, the investment scheme offers strategic tax breaks to foreigners who invest an amount of $2 to $3 million.

Schmidt served as the CEO of Google 2001 to 2011, and then stayed on as the executive chairman of both Google and Alphabet till 2018.

 

MULTI-NATIONAL MILITARY EXERCISE MEDUSA 2020 TO BEGIN

 

The much-awaited aeronautical military training exercise Medusa 2020 is all set to start on the 30th of November, and is set to continue till the 6th of December.

According to a statement by the defense ministry, the joint exercise will be conducted in 3 different phases. These will be dealing with marine formations, cyber warfare, search & rescue, and surface drills.

Held annually since 2017, the Medusa is conducted in honor of the trilateral cooperation between the countries of Egypt, Greece, and of course, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt.

In 2020, the level of cooperation will be further increased as the air forces of UAE and France will also be present.

The exercises shall be conducted in the Cairo FIR region.

 

YELLOW WEATHER WARNING ISSUED WITH POSSIBILITY OF SNOW

 

The Cyprus Meteorological Service has issued a yellow weather warning in anticipation of intense thunderstorms, which are expected to stay for over a day.

According to them, isolated thunderstorms along with rain are expected, with the rainfall intensity to reach over 35 millimeters an hour.

They further added that for the Troodos Mountains’ peaks, snow can be expected.

Temperatures are set to go up to 9C in the mountains, 19C inland, and 21C at the coasts. During nighttime, they are set to drop to 2C in the mountains, 9C inland, and 11C at the coasts.

Further, albeit isolated – rain and thunder showers are expected till up to 2 days after the main thunderstorm.

 

CYPRUS CANCELS MAIL SERVICE DUE TO MASS AIR CARRIER CRISIS

 

In the latest incident, the island nation has canceled its mail service due to a worldwide air carrier shutdown.

With over 22 countries having fallen victim to the crisis, Cyprus has forcefully stopped its mail services to several countries, seeing as there are no carriers for pickups and deliveries.

The countries for which mail has been canceled include Finland , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Argentina, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Norway, Hungary, Ukraine, Croatia, Belarus, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Slovenia, as well as some other European Union countries.

That being said, the country still has the more expensive Quickpost international courier available for all countries.

 

NEW SEXUAL ABUSE CASE SURFACES IN CYPRUS

 

The police are currently investigating a case of minors being forced into marriages.

The case involved the discovery of 2 minor girls being forcefully married to adults belonging to the same nationality.

The girls were initially brought into the country on false pretenses and then married to the adults. The police went on to remove their “husbands” as they made the arrests.

The “husbands” have been booked under violation of the Law N° 91(I) of 2014 on Preventing and Combating the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography.

 

POWER GRID DAMAGED AS TORNADO RIPS TURKISH CYPRUS APART

 

A massive tornado hit Turkish Cyprus’ Girne (or Kyrenia) district, causing considerable damage to structures and particularly destroying the power grid.

The tornado caused roofs being ripped off of rooftops, trees being uprooted, and power lines being completely tangled and disturbed. Some people were also reported to be injured.

In particular, the areas of Lapta Hotels Region, Çatalköy, Karşıyaka and Ozanköy were badly affected.

The biggest damage of all, however, was that to the The Teknecik Power Plant – Turkish Cyprus’ largest electricity plant. A transformer got blown up due to the storm, which caused a widespread blackout in Girne and its nearby settlements.

 

SOUTHWEST CYPRUS PUT UNDER LOCKDOWN OVER SURGE IN COVID-19 CASES

 

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases has led to all of the island nation’s southwest being put under a 19-day lockdown period.

The lockdown entail a complete shutdown of all non-essential businesses, as well as non-essential people movement. This comes after the current set of restrictions failed to curb the surge in infection numbers.

According to Constantinos Ioannou, the Cypriot Health Minister, the lockdown was practically unavoidable given the circumstances, and after strategic consultations with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, it was finally deemed as absolutely essential.

The alarming statistic that caused this development was the increase in infection rates in Paphos and Limassol by 70% and 28% of the national average in a period of six weeks.

In the meantime, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients being treated shot up to around two-thirds.

As a part of the  lockdown, a curfew will be maintained between the hours of 8 p.m to 5 a.m. Movement to and from both the districts concerned will be banned bar emergency and essential goods and service-related trips. Religious services will conducted sans worshippers. Ever form of public gathering, schools, colleges, universities, malls, parlors, salons, gyms, pools, casinos, non-essential goods stores, will all be shut. Educational activities, private offices, and non-essential government office operations will all be conducted remotely. Like the three-month-long lockdown that happened this year, the aim of this one is to bring down the number of new novel coronavirus infections.

 

HEAT CONTINUES TO FLOW THROUGH CYPRUS

 

Cyprus is continuing to see its temperatures soar, even as the island nation is approaching winter season.

Said temperatures currently stand on an average of 36 degrees Celsius, which is over 10 degrees more than the season’ average.

And with Temperatures remaining steady at 40 degrees Celsius, October may turn out to be the hottest month for island nation.

It is currently only second to the 40.6°C record of 2nd and 3rd October 1943.

The island nation has already recorded its hottest August and September, with 44.6°C and 46.2°C recorded respectively.

 

RESTRICTIONS RELAUNCHED DUE TO SPIKE IN NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES

 

A spike in new novel coronavirus cases means that Cyprus will be rolling out a new set of restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.

The restrictions will be imposed on its most populous districts – Nicosia and Limassol.

Gatherings in both private and public areas will be limited to 10 persons, children included. Religious service attendance is to be restricted at 75 persons per gathering. Sports arenas are banned from having sectators.

Receptions for baptism and wedding is prohibited. Meanwhile attendance at theaters, cinemas, restaurants and bars is capped at 150 persons outdoors and 75 indoors. Any eating place can have a maximum of 10 persons per table.

 

CYPRUS TO SUSPEND CONTROVERSIAL ‘GOLDEN VISA’ SCHEME

 

In light of the recent controversies surrounding the ‘Golden Via’ passport, the Cypriot government has announced that it will suspend its scheme.

As the name suggests, “Golden Visa” allowed foreigners to gain a Cypriot passport if they could a make a substantial investment in the island nation.

According to Kyriakos Koushos, a spokesman for the government, the move has been made due to the scheme’s inherent weaknesses and exploitation by applicants.

As of November 1, 2020, the scheme will go on the fritz.

Discussions will be made to create a new scheme, which will be replacing the Golden Visa.

The move comes years after Cyprus being pressured to suspend the Golden Visa scheme, mainly on the basis that the situation makes something as sensitive as the Cypriot as ‘up for sale.’

The scheme was originally set up in 2013.