Current Events

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.

 

HOTEL ORDERED TO DEMOLISH 2 OF ITS ILLEGAL FLOORS

 

Cypriot interior minister Nicos Nouris has announced that the Sun City project will have to demolish 2 of its floors.

According to the town planning department’s notice, the illegal floors violate both the urban planning permit and the environmental impact assessment, and will therefore have to be taken down.

The Sun City project, which is located near the marina in the Ayia Thekla, has the Giovani Group involved. Their former head, the former Akel deputy Christakis Giovanis resigned from his post after an undercover Al Jazeera video caught him helping a Chinese businessman with a criminal record.

The five-star resort had originally received permission for a ground floor and basement, five stories and seven levels, along with 203 rooms. They have, however, managed to violate that adding another two floors during constructions.

This goes against the rules of the Sotira Municipality’s tourist zone T2a, which mandates hotels to keep their floors to a maximum of five levels.

 

THREE ZIM STUDENTS PERISH IN HORRIFIC CAR CRASH IN CYPRUS

 

A horrific car crash has claimed the life of three people.

The persons, all of whom are Zimbabwean students studying at the European University of Lefke in Cyprus passed away while on their way home from an outing.

The 3 students in question were identified as current students Dean Tafara Marufu and Elliot Simbarashe Kanofema, along with the recently graduated Electious Vhere.

They were killed in what was a head-on collision on the Guzelyurt-Nicosia highway.

The European University of Lefke later posted the tragic news on their website.

 

MAN BEATEN AND SHOT

 

This latest incident has a man beaten and shot. The police are currently investigating a robbery incident during which this person was both assaulted and shot in Nicosia.

The man, a 28-year-old resident of Larnaca, was taken to the hospital immediately. There, he was diagnosed with a head injury, a broken nose and various abrasions.

The man was discharged after being given first aid.

In the course of investigations, he reported to the police that the attack, which happened in the evening hours, was done by persons who he could not identify. They went on to snatch his cellphone and car keys.

The attackers, one of whom was a woman, proceeded to flee in his car, as well as rental one.

 

ASTRONOMY EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO SPIKE IN COVID-19 CASES

 

A top astronomy event has been canceled due to a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases.

The event, which was due to be held at the Nicosia town hall, had a lot of preparations done, including arranging special facilities for those who are disabled.

The organizers of the event issued a statement, citing an increased number of COVID-19 cases. The cancellation was made in the interest of public health.

 

CYPRUS STAYS ON ENGLAND’S ‘GREEN LIST’

 

Cyprus has been facing a recent increase in the number of coronavirus cases, but that hasn’t stopped the island nation from slipping off their safety list.

It remains on the UK’s ‘Green List,’ meaning that those traveling to the UK from Cyprus have unrestricted access and do not need to isolate.

However, they are required to have celebrated the entirety of their previous 14 days in Cyprus, or at least on another country that is on the green list.

In case they have visited anywhere not on the green list, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

The only country removed so far from UK’s green list is Liechtenstein.

 

ARTIFACTS DATING BACK 3,200 DISCOVERED IN NORTHERN CYPRUS

 

A team of archeologists in Northern Cyprus have excavated over 137 pieces of artifacts that are around 3,200.

It is estimated that the artifacts pertain to various works done during the latter part of the Bronze Age in all of the eastern Mediterranean region.

According to Bülent Kızılduman, chief of eastern Mediterranean Cultural Heritage Research Center (DAKMAR), the team of archaeologists were investigating commercial and political relations between the Cypriot and the Anatolian civilizations, and carrying out expeditions within the Karpas peninsula.

Known as “King’s Hill,” the site literally located on a hill in the Kaleburnu village, around 1.5 kilometers near the sea.

Kızılduman said that the site belongs to one of the then several important kingdoms that date back around 3,200 years. He went on to state how a significant number of bronze artifacts were found here.

The aim for the team is to preserve the artifacts in their DAKMAR conservation and restoration laboratory, to later exhibit those in a soon-to-be-opened museum.

 

RAPID COVID-19 TESTS TO BE DEPLOYED IN CYPRUS

 

The health authorities have announced that rapid PCR tests are going to be introduced.

In a statement to the press, Cypriot epidemiological team member Petros Karayiannis, mentioned how the rapid tests, which as efficient as their normal counterparts, will be instrumental in speeding up the process.

Mr. Karayiannis added that as scientific advisors will be discussing implications of the test with the health ministry, an announcement indicating the extent of the application of the tests is due to be issued.

He went on to explain how these tests, which will be used in crowd-intensive areas a such as hospitals, schools, and airports will simplify the otherwise complicated process of contact tracing.

Rapid tests work by detecting certain types of proteins called antigens, which are present on the virus’ surface. Reading the antigens can also determine other factors, such as how long the person has been infected, and how much at risk they are when it comes to spreading the disease.

 

CYPRUS MIGHT EVOLVE INTO A WINTER TRAVEL DESTINATION, SAYS DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Cypriot travel industry. But the island nation’s Deputy Minister of Tourism doesn’t think that it is all setbacks and bad news.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios says that while Cyprus has missed out much on the summer tourism season, but it still has the potential to emerge as a top winter destination.

According to Perdios, the fact that Cyprus is less chaotic in general, along with its cleaner epidemiological situation means that country could serve as a first-class winter tourism destination.

Speaking to the CNA, Perdios said that the willingness of tourists to travel in spite of the pandemic can mean good business.

That of course, is fully dependent on safety measures and adherence of social distancing guidelines.

 

BOYDEN ENTERS CYPRUS

 

Top talent advisory and leadership company Boyden, which has over 70 offices in 45 countries, has finally entered Cyprus.

The entry into Cyprus is part of a larger expansion phase into the Mediterranean, and will include an expansion into Greece.

The expansion will be headed by Anny S. Chatzikonstantinou, the new Managing Partner. Chatzikonstantinou is a well-known figure within the industry, having spend a 20-year-long career in senior roles with companies of the likes of Hasbro, Unilever, SingularLogic, and Diageo. She then spent over 10 years in consulting.

At Boyden Cyprus and Greece, she will be joined by partners Fani Mamalaki, Michalis Moraitis, and Simi Farrou, each of whom are an expert in HR, Consumer & Retail, and strategy IT respectively.

 

EUROPA LEAGUE GAME WILL NO LONGER PLAY IN ARMENIA, WILL BE MOVED TO CYPRUS

 

The next soccer game for Europa League will be moved to Cyprus, after safety issues that arose from the security lapses due to Armenia’s increasing conflict with Azerbaijan.

According to the UEFA, the playoff game, which had Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade and Ararat-Armenia playing against each other in Yerevan, will now be played in island nation city of Nicosia.

The winner of this game will be advancing to the Europa League group phase.

 

GREECE SAYS IT IS FULLY COMMITTED TO SOLVING THE CYPRUS PROBLEM

 

In honor of Cyprus’ 60th anniversary of independence from the British rule, Athens has sent a message of solidarity, expressing their undaunting support to island nation in solving the issue of division.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister of Greece showed his utter disapproval on the violations made by Turkish forces both on sea and on land for Cyprus and vowed to go all in if needed to protect the sovereign rights of Cypriots.

Mitsotakis clarified that Greece refuses to accept the legalization of the Cyprus problem, which Turkey is currently pushing for. He added how Cyprus ‘political situation happens to be a top priority for Athens, and that efforts are currently underway to aid the resumption of talks.

 

CYPRUS TO CONTINUE SEEING UNUSUALLY HIGH TEMPERATURE

 

The unbearably hot weather on the island is said to continue till the month of October.

The meteorological office said that the general temperatures will be rising to up to 23C in the mountainous region, 28C on the coastal areas in general, and 32C on the east and south coast.

While there may be slight drop in the temperature in between, this will only be a temporary phase, for the temperature will continue to rise.

This sudden rise in temperatures has been extremely unusual and uncharacteristic. The general temperatures for October on the island nation are around 4 to 7 degrees lesser than the usual seasonal levels.

 

CYPRUS AND US SIGN MoU FOR BORDER SECURITY TRAINING CENTER

 

Mike Pompeo, State Department Secretary of the United States has announced that Cyprus and the US have recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This is for the purpose of building a new training centre for border security.

The institution will serve to offer expertise to Cyprus for the on the topics of nonproliferation and border security in the Mediterranean region.

State Secretary Pompeo met with Cypriot President Anastasiades, tweeting about how wonderful his experience was. He further added that he is looking forward to have the Republic of Cyprus as a key partner within the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The US State Department also released a statement, explaining how the foreign minister of the tqo countries signed the MoU. Fully funded by the US, the training center will serve to function as intended, and will be officially named as the Cyprus Center for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security (CYCLOPS).

 

TURKISH IMAM DEMANDS CYPRUS INVASION

 

A Turkish Imam has declared his “demand” for invading Cyprus.

İhsan Şenocak, one of Turkey’s most popular imams, has aggressively endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s foreign policy, publicly urging the country’s military to invade and occupy Greek Cyprus, just as it has once what is now Turkish Cyprus.

He went on to say that the activity should be done in the name of the prophet Mohammed and his Umm Haram (also known as Hala Sultan). The latter’s tomb is currently within the Greek Cypriot territory.

Imam Şenocak tweeted how the time for the Turkish to greet Hala Sultan in person must come very soon.

The statements have attracted immense uproar and condemnation from communities the world over, many of whom have openly claimed the statements as undermining human rights.

 

INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRM OPEN BRANCH IN CYPRUS

 

Famed international law firm Ince has opened a brand-new office in Cyprus.

Having merged with local law firm LG Zambartas, Ince has opened its 6th European office in the location of the form.

The office, which is focused on maritime issues, will be headed by George Zambartas, who up until recently was the head of shipping and corporate law in LG Zambartas. He will have the support of a premium staff supplied by Ince.

The Ince office will have 6 Cypriot and English lawyers, all of whom have been working for the 14-year-old LG Zambartas.

As mentioned earlier, this office will serve to handle maritime issues such as yachting transactions and shipping funds, along with other common law topics such as immigration, private wealth, energy and financial litigation. This office will also work in a consultancy capacity, offering business corporate support services such as trust management, project management, and other management services.

Acquired company Zambartas specialized in offering consultancy services to shipping companies in Ukraine and Russia and helped them find ship finance from other banks in Western Europe. They further offered legal opinions to international banks on Cyprus law, and even drafted security documents.

 

MASS BIRD SHOOTING INCIDENT HIGHLY CONDEMNED

 

BirdLife Cyprus has revealed the killing of dozens of birds in mass animal shooting.

The non-government organization released photos of several birds, which were slaughtered by hunters near Larnaca Salt Lake in the Meneou region.

The highly cruel act of violence against animals led to the death of over a hundred birds, along with at least a few dozen bee-eating birds.

According to Tassos Shialis, the campaigns coordinator of BirdLife Cyprus, this hasn’t been the only incident – or even the first. As a matter of fact, the area has been notorious for hunters going on illegal bird killing sprees. Despite incidents being reported time and again, the criminal activity has not ceased at all. Birds belonging to several protected birds and even many migratory species birds have been killed in this year already.

This is quite ironic, given as there is virtually no chance for the area in question to be anywhere close to a designated hunting area. Such areas much meet a number of criteria, not least of them being that they must be located a minimum of 500 meters from any residence. The Meneou lake completely fails this criterion, seeing as the near residential property is as little as 150 meters away, along with a plethora of coastal properties.

The slaughter incident has been reported to the relevant authorities, while the bodies of the birds have been handed to the Game Fund.

 

95% OF CYPRUS TOURISM COMES FROM NON-RESIDENTS, SAYS STUDY

 

The latest results of a Europol study on Cyprus tourism has revealed that the as much 95% of the revenue earned from travel comes from foreign visitors.

It is therefore no wonder that the island nation’s tourism sector has been completely battered as the Covid-19 pandemic has almost halted international travel. According to various hoteliers on the island, the worst-case scenario of only a fraction of non-resident arrivals have already rung true.

This has been a sharp contrast from 2019, which had welcomed over 4 million tourists. While a target of meeting at least 20% of those figures have been set this year, fulfilling them is difficult at best, seeing as Israel, Russia and the UK – Cyprus’ biggest sources of visitors, have either been excluded or shrouded in complicated safety-related paperwork.

To meet these numbers, the government is currently making an effort to encourage as much local tourism as possible. A number of schemes have been introduced to this end.

Cyprus’ position comes next only to Malta and Crete, both of which attribute 96% of their revenue to non-resident tourists. Other major destinations that follow the same trend include the Austrian mountainous regions of Vorarlberg and Tirol, as well as the cities of Budapest, Brussels, Vienna and Prague.

 

TURKEY HOLDING MILITARY EXERCISES AMIDST TENSIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

 

In the middle of ongoing tensions between Turkey and Greece, the former has made a sudden announcement to hold a military exercise off of Cyprus’ northwestern coast for 2 weeks.

This announcement comes right in the middle conflicts between Turkey and Greece, over the multiple claims of exploratory rights in the eastern Mediterranean region.

The dispute between NATO members Turkey and Greece arose after both countries signed clashing accords regarding their maritime boundaries with Egypt and Libya. Turkey took matters into its own hands and sent a survey vessel, which sparked off the confrontation.

Both countries have conducted military exercises thus far, with Greece conducting a joint naval exercise with Italy and Cyprus only recently.

Not much time after that, Turkey has issued its own Navtex notice explaining how it will conduct its own “gunnery exercise.”

 

UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS RANKS AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST

 

The University of Cyprus has been ranked in the 601 to 700 range for the third year in a row. The ranking system, known as Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), ranks the 1000 best universities in the whole world.

Popularly called the Shanghai Ranking, these three years are the only instance that a university from the island nation has been featured on the list. Therefore, it goes without saying that the University of Cyprus is only Cypriot university to have made the rankings thus far.

Notably, the Shanghai list is one of the world’s three most important worldwide university ranking systems. It also holds the distinction to be the first system that uses several indicators to evaluate universities.

The model itself was developed by the Shanghai Jiaotong University (hence the name). It monitors 6 different indicators for evaluating universities – the overall performance in relation to the institution’s soze, number of articles featured in the Science Citation Index, number of articles in other scientific journals, the number of researchers that have been selected by Thomson Scientific, and finally, the number of Nobel graduates in the faculty and student population.

 

THE CEO OF HELLENIC BANK HAS UNEXPECTEDLY RESIGNED

 

In what is being considered bad news for the banking sector, Yiannis Matsis the CEO of Hellenic Bank has suddenly turned in his resignation.

Mr. Matsis will be replaced by Constantinos Loizides, who is currently serving as the CEO of AstroBank.

The news broke out via a notice that was placed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange’s Regulatory News wire. The notice clearly stated the event, but did not state any underlying text, as it was not available.

Mr. Matsis had been serving as CEO since April 2017. He had already been serving as a member of the board of directors since December 2013 and held the position of being a member of the board’s internal governance committee, as well as the chairman of the risk management committee.

 

TOP ECONOMIST CLAIMS CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT HAS 2 YEARS WORTH OF FUNDS

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent the world into a flurry, with countries scrambling for funds to deal with the emergency and run the nation. Cyprus, of course, is no exception. The rising coronavirus case numbers have left many in doubt of the capability of the government to maintain fiscal balance.

The country’s top economist, however, does not agree. Fiona Mullen, who works for Sapienta Economics claims that the Cypriot government is far from being in danger; in fact, it has enough reserve to last for at least 2 years.

Her statement was confirmed by the Finance Ministry, who’s spokesperson declared that the bank has reserves worth €4.2 billion.

Mullen further explained that while the government may have issued a lot of debt in the last year, it has more than enough funds to cover this debt. She stated how the during December 2019, the public debt was at €20.96 billion, which is 95.5 per cent of island country’s GDP. While this is a lot, the good news is that this time around, the 100 per cent mark has not been crossed.

As of May 2020, the amount of public debt stood at €24.4 billion.

 

CYPRUS TOURISM SEES A FURTHER PLUNGE IN REVENUE

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several casualties – both direct and indirect, and the Cyprus tourism industry is clearly one of them.

The novel coronavirus has been instrumental in the plummeting of what was once the island’s top economic performer to go down to almost zero, as the entire world has gone into various modes and phases of lockdown.

According to Harry Kyrillou, the owner of the travel agency Planet Holidays, not a single booking was made for Cyprus in the month of July. He further expressed his frustration at the situation, saying how they have practically lost the entire year, and that any travel bookings, if made, will be very few. He explained how this has and will continue to affect hoteliers and anyone else who is in the tourism industry.

According to the National Statistical Service (Cystat), the first 6 months of 2020 saw tourism revenue plummeting to €122 million from last year’s €1billion.

It is, therefore. No cliché that the local economy is – and will be bearing the brunt of the loss of tourism revenue. Not only will the GDP be significantly lower, but the level of unemployment for those working in hospitality will continue to be on the rise.

The partial lifting of travel bans haven’t been as much of a help, since there are still strict lockdowns in effect in other countries. Add to that the fact that people are reluctant to move around as freely given the threat of the virus.

In a bid to salvage the situation, the tourist season has been furthered till the end of October. However, there still isn’t much hope for the numbers to dramatically improve.

 

CYPRUS TO DONATE ADDITIONAL AID WORTH 170 TONNES FOR BEIRUT BLAST VICTIMS

 

The whole world has been doing its best to help Lebanon cope with the effects of the deadly Beirut blast, and Cyprus is no exception. The island nation will be donating shipping an additional 170 tons of humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

According to a statement by the volunteerism commissioner’s office, the aid, which has been collected by NGOs. companies, local government authorities, and the Church and has been sent to be distributed in Lebanon.

The office expressed their pride, saying it has been incredible how a country as small as Cyprus has managed to collect such a large number of things through cooperation.

They praised the efforts of the volunteers, who took the mammoth effort to receive every individual package, sort out all the packages, and finally packaging all the items.

The total package will be loaded on containers at the port of Limassol.

 

OUTGOING FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS EXPRESSES CONCERN ON RISING TENSIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

 

Isabelle Dumont, the ambassador of France to Cyprus, is about to end her term. She was received by Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis for this occasion.

After her meeting with the President, Dumont reflected on several events. One of these was the rising level of tensions in the Mediterranean region.

She remarked how the region, which has been known to be a place of peace, has become a site of conflict. So much so that she feels that the EU must now have a larger presence in the Eastern Mediterranean to maintain harmony.

In particular, she expressed her concerns on the activities of Turkey.

Notably, France has maintained an active presence in the Eastern Mediterranean after the escalation of tensions. Their navy also recently participated in an aeronautical exercise along with their Cypriot, Greek and Italian counterparts.

 

CROATIA, FRANCE AND THE NETHERLANDS NO LONGER ON CYPRUS’ COVID19 SAFE LIST

 

The rising case of COVID-19 cases in various parts of Europe has brought considerable changes to Cyprus’ safe list.

The island nation has edited its list once again, having removed Croatia, France and the Netherlands. Cyprus has also the non-EU countries Tunisia and Andorra from the list.

All the three EU countries in question have been bumped down from Category C (i.e. the safe list) to Category B. The latter category mandates restricted entry, even with a COVID-19 test.

Category C countries allow exclusive entry to Cypriot nationals and residents, and those who have special permits. Those cleared under this category must have a coronavirus negative test with them, get a test once they arrive on the island. Then, they must go under self-isolation for 14 days. They also need to take a test again 48 hours before the end of the 14-day isolation period.

Other European Union countries that have received a downgrade in status – from category B from A – are Ireland, Austria, Iceland, Denmark and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s status was upgraded to category B from category C.

Category B countries have more relaxation – all they require is a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of boarding the flight to Cyprus.

 

LIDL CYPRUS HAS LAUNCHED THE FIRST EVER RECYCLED WASTE-MADE SHOES

 

Environmental consciousness has become the norm, and companies are increasingly swaying towards making eco-friendliness products.

In the latest such initiative, Lidl Cyprus has just launched its own shoes that have be made with recycled waste.

Named the Ocean Bound Plastic Crivit Shoes, these are made from 25 percent PET bottles that have been collected from the coastal areas and islands, along with 75 percent recycled polyester. This concoction will help both clear and protect the ocean, while protecting first-hand materials.

These new trainers are available for all ranges – children, men, and women. Plus, they are just as comfortable and durable as their conventional counterparts, while maintaining an affordable price.

This shows come as part of the REset Plastic, an initiative by the Schwarz Group, which aims to reduce the impact of plastic waste by reducing plastic wastage as much as possible.

Lidl Cyprus is a participant within this initiative. The company has 5 areas of action – Reduce (i.e. reducing plastic use as much as possible), Redesign (i.e. redesigning plastic to make them recyclable and prolong their life cycle), Recycle (i.e. collecting and sorting recyclable materials and close the life cycle of raw materials), Remove (i.e. supporting campaigns that advocate plastic waste removal); and Research (Looking for ways to develop innovative solutions recycling used materials and protecting new ones.

Lidl aims to reduce the use of new plastic to at least 20% by the year 2025.

 

CYPRUS, ITALY, FRANCE, AND GREECE TO HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE

 

In what is being considered in new step in military cooperation, a joint exercise between Cypriot, Italian, French and Greek naval forces will be held near the west of Cyprus.

The preparations for the exercise, which comes in the middle of continuing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region, have already begun. 3 Greek F-16 jets and 3 French Rafael fighter jets have already arrived the Paphos’ Andreas Papandreou airbase.

They will be participating with the Cyprus National Guard.

The joint naval drill comes after repeated claims by both Cyprus and Greece of Turkey violating their respective exclusive economic zones (EEZ). Turkey had sent the Oruc Reis, its seismic research vessel, along with several naval escort vessels the EEZ regions.

 

OUTRAGE OVER ANTI-ISLAMIC ACTS IN GREEK CYPRUS

 

Both Turkey as well as Turkish Cyprus have expressed their outrage at the “Islamophobic” act of the hanging of a Byzantine flag on a mosque in the Greek Cyprus region.

Fuat Oktay, the vice-president of Turkey, took to Twitter to express his disapproval, saying how the Greek Cypriot administration must end the encouragement of anti-Islam and anti-Turkish activities. They must take measures and see to it that the “diseased mentality,” should be put to an end.

The move was further criticized by Omer Celik, a spokesman of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party. He also took to Twitter to express how the Greece must end its hostility towards Islam with immediate effect.

“We strongly condemn the hanging of a Byzantine flag on a mosque in Tuzla village in Southern Cyprus. The Greek administration should stop hostility toward Islam,” he said in a tweet.

Greek Cyprus has seen a series of attacks in the recent days. The most prominent of these has been the hanging of the Byzantine flag on a mosque in Southern Cyprus’ Tuzia village.

Another incident includes an arson attempt on another mosque in the region.

 

CYPRUS WELCOMES NEW SHIPPING MINISTER

 

Vassilis Demetriades has taken the post of the new shipping minister of Cyprus. He has replaced outgoing minister Natasa Pilides, who herself is taking up a new post as the Energy Minister.

In his handover ceremony, Demetriades expressed his happiness at taking over the new role. He explained how it has been a long 22-year-journey since he first entered the premises of what was then the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS).

He described himself as a bright-eyed employee with great ambitions to grow the shipping sector of the island nation.

He further explained how he, along with the Deputy Ministry will be working as a single unit to work towards the growth of development of the sector.

Shipping has historically been a major part of Cyprus’ economy, and is said to contribute over 7% to the island nation’s GDP.

Prior to his new position, Demetriades serves as a maritime policy expert at the Directorate-General’s office for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission.

Outgoing minister Pilides, who was the first shipping minister of Cyprus, praised Demetriades, saying she was happy to see the junior ministry in the safest hands.

 

Criminal Extradited from Cyprus for Allegedly Stealing Bitcoin

 

Crime has been on the rise in Cyprus, and the latest incident proves how serious the situation is.

In the last series of happenings, 2 criminals were expedited from the island nation. One of these was a suspect in the theft of thousands of Bitcoin, while the other was a notorious money launderer with Hezbollah links.

The Cypriot Department of Justice (DOJ) explained how one of the suspects is in fact wanted in the US states of Arizona and Georgia for extortion and cybercrimes. The other is a wanted man in Florida for conducting money-laundering activities on behalf of Hezbollah.

The first man, Joshua Polloso Epifaniou, is a Cypriot national. He has been charged with wire fraud, along with conspiracy to commit computer fraud. He is also wanted for extortion and identity theft. According to the DOJ, Mr. Epifaniou along with his accomplices had stolen personal information from a variety of people including a New York-based hardware company, a California-based an online game publisher, a an online sports site owned by Turner, and an employment website based out of in Virginia. He has been accused of stealing over $56,850 in Bitcoin through his fraudulent activities.

The second extradited man,  Ghassan Diab is a Lebanese citizen, who has allegedly laundered over $100,000. He has also been identifies as a potential Hezbollah member.

 

FRENCH PRESIDENT POSTS HIS MESSAGE IN GREEK

 

In what is being called a very symbolic move that shows the solidarity between France and Cyprus, French President Emmanuel Macron posted a very important message in Greek language, as opposed to the standard French and English.

The message, which was posted on Facebook, said how President Macron supports the plight of the island nation as well as Greece, which have recently come under distress due to Turkey’s aggressive maritime tactics.

The statement added how said tactics were nothing short of a human right violation, and that such threatening treatment with an EU member state shall not be tolerated.

Macron went on to explain how the mounting security and energy issues in the Mediterranean area are being caused by other powers, over whom the EU itself has little to no influence.

That being said, a solution must be made to settle the issue. To that end, a meeting of the EU’s southern members will soon be called.

 

OVER 78 NEW HEAD AND NECK CANCER CASES GET DIAGNOSED EVERY YEAR

 

According to a report by the Pancyprian Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (Pasykaf), as many as 78 new cases of head and neck cancer get reported annually.

Most of the recorded cases have been known to occur in the laryngeal area. Most of the patients constitute men, with the male to female ratio lying between 2:1 to 4:1.

Pasykaf says that most of these cases have their cause in health-risking activities alcoholism and smoking, and pre-existing conditions such as EBV (Epstain-Barr virus), HPV (human papillomavirus).

The report further mentioned the various symptoms of head and neck cancer, which include change in voice, hoarseness, ear pain, persistent nasal congestion, nosebleeds, and issues with swallowing.

Pasykaf advised that if people experiencing these symptoms must contact their physician immediately.

The term ‘head and neck cancer’ defines a specific set of cancer types which strictly develop in the nose, throat, mouth, salivary glands, and other places in the neck or head.

Currently, these are over 550,000 recorded cases of these with over 380,000 deaths.

 

AMBER ALERT ISSUED AS TEMPERATURES RISE TO 43 DEGREES CELSIUS

 

In what is being considered alarming news, an amber alert has been issued in observance of the sudden and sharp rise in temperatures.

The alert, issued by the Cyprus meteorological service, has been issued for what is the 49th temperature warning for 2020. According to the alert, the temperatures are set to go as high as 43 degrees Celsius in the plains, and over 35C in the mountainous areas during the peak period of 11am to 5pm.

According to the weather forecast, the rise in temperature has happened due to a heated atmospheric mass that has been affecting the area, effectively raising the temperature by several degrees.

The Met Office further declared said that while it will be considerably breezy in the coastal, the inland areas would remain hot and dry.

Temperatures in the night time, however, should cool down to around 25C inland, 23C in the coasts other coastal areas.

 

BUILDING PERMITS TO BE FAST-TRACKED FROM OCTOBER 2020

 

The novel coronavirus has caused many delays, and Cyprus is now on its way to make up for these delays.

One of these developments comes in the form of the island nation fast-tracking the issuing of building and planning permits.

The new plan, which will go into effect from October 2020, will have the waiting time slashed to around 20 days – right from the previous average of 14 to 18 months.

Nicos Nouris , Cyprus’ Interior Minister who announced the news, revealed thanks to the new fast-track process, the time used to process applications for building and planning will be greatly reduced, which will help expedite construction work on the island nation.

The Interior Minister acknowledged how the current system, though otherwise efficient, would be a hindrance in the potentially post-pandemic situation, when workload will be more and several projects will be put on hold.

Currently, most applications are about general homes, and have been submitted by civilians. These make up for over 62% of the total number of permits.

The fast-tracking applies to all of the planning department’s district offices, along with the island nation’s major municipalities – Larnaca, Limassol, and Nicosia.

For now, however, Nouris explained that applications can only be submitted online and only to the District Offices of Urban Planning.

Submission to the major municipality offices is yet to be ready.

 

CYPRUS TO CONSIDER PURCHASING WEAPONS FROM THE FRENCH SHARE

 

In a new step towards military cooperation between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, Cypriot defense minister Charalambos Petrides has revealed that Cyprus has been considering buying more weapons from France.

In a statement to the press, Minister Petrides emphasized on how different systems and weapons were being assessed by the Cypriot military. He further added how the scenario of this potential purchase falls under the larger spectrum of improving upon the military bilateral relations between the Cypriot and French forces.

Said improvement in military cooperation was originally announced by Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades on his Paris visit. Minister Petrides had accompanied president Anastasiades on the visit, where he was in a closed-door meeting his French defense minister Florence Party.

Many topics have said to been discussed in this meeting – including Turkey’s aggressive tactics, and of course a general cooperation between Cyprus and France.

 

ALGERIA AND BULGARIA REMOVED; UK ADDED TO CYPRUS’ SAFE COUNTRIES LIST

 

In view of recent developments as regards the novel coronavirus, the government of Cyprus has made several changes to its ‘safe list’ countries for travel.

The first remarkable step is removing Algeria and Bulgaria, after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in both countries. The countries in question have reported over 200 cases in the last week, which has led to the revision of their travel safety status.

On the other hand, the United Kingdom has been brought in to the safe list – after a consistent and marked decline in the number of new coronavirus infection cases. The country currently lies in category B, which implies that travelers from the UK entering the island nation will have to show a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry into the island nation. Quarantine will not be necessary.

In the meantime, Georgia has been upgraded from category B to A, with incoming travelers from the country no longer needing negative tests or quarantines.

The safe list systems works by placing various countries in one of 3 categories – A, B, or C, depending on their current epidemiological situation.

Countries on the A-list need are the safest, and need not show a negative COVID-19 test or undergo quarantine. Those on the B-list need not quarantine, but must show a negative test result. Those in category C, will have to show a negative test and undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine.

 

TURKISH VESSEL SAILING TOWARDS CYPRUS LEAVES WASHINGTON TROUBLED

 

In what is considered bad news for military arrangement and coordination in the Mediterranean, the United States’ Washington has expressed being troubled by Turkey’s maritime developments.

The latest of these developments has Barbaros, a Turkish research vessel sailing off of the coast of Cyprus – soon after Ankara issuing a navigational telex that reserved parts of the island nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The vessel, called the Barbaros, which left Tasucu port in Turkey, was first seen off Famagusta’s coast at 6 in the morning (local time). The vessel, which followed the Navtex, reserved blocks 2, 3, and partially, 13. All these blocks fall with Cyprus’ EEZ.

This provocative development has come after Ankara’s earlier decision to put its seismic research plans on hold in the off of Kastellorizo in Greece till the talks with Athens is complete.

 

GOVERNMENT RELEASES SUPPORT PACKAGE WORTH €150 Million

 

To cushion the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Cyprus has announced a massive support package worth €150 million.

The package, which was announced by Labor Minister Zeta Emilianidou and Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides, will be offering over €3 billion to support businesses and workers for the next 4 months.

The numbers of beneficiaries for the plans are slated to reach at least 50,000.

The biggest plan in the package is made for hotels and tourism-related establishments, and other entities that have been subjected to mandatory suspension of operations. There are other schemes as well, however – ones those unemployed professionals, as well as businesses which have lost at least 40% of their annual turnover.

The monthly cost for the plans is slated to be between €35 to €40 million. This, is not, however, a strict figure, as the turnover depends on the actual amount of reduction.

 

GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES SMS CAMPAIGN TO CHECK MIGRATION

 

To check migration, the Cypriot government has launched a “blitz” SMS campaign to keep incoming migration to the island nation in check.

The campaign, which comes after dispelling the notion of the island nation becoming a “gateway” to the European Union for migrants, was announced by the country’s Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the campaign is meant to filter migrants who are tricked by migrants to believing that they would get EU access once Cyprus grants them political asylum.

The reality, however, is far from this – Nouris explained that migrants who arrive to Cyprus are, in reality, in a worse position by entering Cyprus. This is because while the island nation is part of the European Union, it is not a part of the Schengen area. The EU is meant more for political mobility, whereas it is Schengen which allows frictionless borders and the lack of internal controls.

 

MINOR CABINET RESHUFFLING IN CYPRUS

 

The Cypriot cabinet is slated to undergo a major reshuffle.

The first to be reappointed was the former Justice Minister George Savvides, who will now serve as the attorney general.

He was followed by Defense Minister Savvas Angelides, who will be serving as the deputy attorney general.

The third to join the list is George Lakkotrypis, who will be standing down from his position as Energy Minister.

The reshuffling comes after the pending expiration of Costas Clerides’ term as attorney general.

While Savvides and Angelides will be sworn-in on 10 July, their successors have not been identifies as of yet. While former Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou was offered the position, he turned it down after members of the opposition party objection to his suitability.

 

CYPRUS HAS EUROPE’S CLEANEST BATHING WATERS, SAYS STUDY

 

In an announcement to the public, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis has announced the results of a major European study that reveals Cyprus to have the cleanest bathing waters in all of Europe.

The study, which was conducted by the European Environment Agency, has put Cyprus in the first place, accounting for the island nation to have over 99.1% clean, excellent-quality bathing waters.

Cyprus’ position was followed by Austria, Malta, and Greece at 98.5%, 97.7% and 95.7% respectively.

In his announcement, Mr. Kadis explained how the quality of bathing water directly affected that amount of tourism. The better the quality of the waters, the better is the quality of the sea and the level of tourism.

The in-depth report which studied over 21 000 bathing waters, reported that 112 out of 113 bathing water sites were excellent in quality.

 

MALLS OFFERING EARLY SUMMER SALES TO REBOOT RETAIL SECTOR

 

In a bid to give the retail sector a much-needed reboot, Cyprus’ apex mall has announced the beginning of an early summer sale, where shops are slated to offer discounts of over 50%.

Having reopened to customers on June 9, the Mall of Cyprus has already begun its ‘Summer 2020’ collection.

The collection includes various season-suited clothing items –shoes, bags, beachwear, casual clothes and athletic wear.

Shops will remain open from 10am to 8pm every day.

 

CYPRUS HAS THE SECOND-HIGHEST NUMBER OF NON-NATIONAL RESIDENTS, SAYS STUDY

 

A recent Eurostat study has revealed that Cyprus has the second-largest number of non-nationals living in the country within the European Union.

The island nation has 18% of its population coming from foreign countries – second only after Luxembourg, the same figure lies at 47%.

Malta takes the third place at 17%.

Besides these three, other EU countries that have recorded a high proportion of foreign nationals included Spain, Estonia, Austria, Ireland, Latvia, Germany and Belgium. For each of these countries, the proportion of foreign national is over 10%.

Contrastingly, Romania and Poland had the least percentage of non-national workers, at under 1%.

 

WIZZ AIR EXPANDS ITS NETWORK INTO CYPRUS

 

In what is being considered good news after the intense lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, budget aircraft carrier Wizz Air has introduced 5 new routes, expanding its presence in Cyprus.

Besides the new routes, Wizz Air is building a third aircraft at its latest base in Larnaca.

Scheduled to start on August 1, the budget carrier will increase the number of flights to Athens, while introducing new ones to Prague, Paris Beauvais, Heraklion, Gdansk, and Eindhoven.

With the new additions, Wizz Air is now offering 36 routes to over 20 countries from its base in Larnaca, with a yearly seating capacity of 280,000.

In a statement to the press, Chief executive Jozsef Varadi announced the news, explaining how the new flights and routes have been added weeks within the opening of the Larnaca base. The further added that the airlines is delighted with the new development, and is currently making arrangements to add as many routes as is safely possible in the near future.

 

2 NEW COVID-19 CASES DETECTED AS THE LAST PATIENT WAS DISCHARGED

 

Just as the novel coronavirus pandemic was about to die down in Cyprus, 2 new cases were detected on the island nation. The cases were detected on the very day the last remaining COVID-19 patient was discharged.

According to the health ministry, the new development leads to the total number of confirmed cases now standing at 988.

Both the cases in question were among incoming passengers and repatriated Cypriot nationals. The ministry said that their contacts are currently in the process of being traced.

Apart from these two, there are no other coronavirus patients in treatment in any state hospitals.

The last patient to be discharged before the 2 new infections was an 80-year-old gentleman.

The health department has currently kept at least 40 beds on standby in the event a second wave of the disease strikes.

Furthermore, all health, hygiene and social distancing measures are being maintained to ensure that the spread of COVID-19, if any, remains as minimal as possible.

 

LONDON-TO-CYPRUS FLIGHTS ARE FULL FOR JULY, SAYS EASYJET

 

Booking flights post-Covid has been increasing steady, and the latest data only proves this to be true.

According to Easyjet, flights from London to Cyprus that are slated to run in July have mostly been sold out.

The airline further explained how this development has partially happened due to the fact that the flight capacity has reduced to maintain social distancing measures. More and more seats will be opened up as and when the pandemic eases.

According to an Easyjet spokesperson, the airlines’ customer care department is currently writing to waiting customers that they are doing the best they can to maintain the schedule and accommodate as many persons as they can without putting anyone in jeopardy.

They explained that every passenger who gets a ticket will be contacted at least 21 days before their scheduled flight.

They also assured that they will maintain all safety precautions necessary to keep the contagion at bay. This includes social distancing, luggage handling, and of course masks being compulsory throughout.

 

1 IN 3 WOMEN OVER 65 LIVE ALONE IN CYPRUS, SAYS REPORT

 

In what is considered a worrying statistic, especially for gender inequality, a Eurostat report has revealed that around 1 in 3 women over the age of 65 are living alone and unassisted.

This is a stark contrast to men, as only 1 in 10 of those are living in similar conditions.

In the same age bracket, those living with just one more adult is also 30 percent for women, which is the same as the over-65 bracket. In the case of m en, however, the figure is much high – at over 33 per cent.

The data in question here applies exclusively to those who are living in private homes.

 

CYPRUS TO ALLOW TOURISTS FROM ISRAEL AS CORONAVIRUS EASES

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the tourism industry the most, and countries are taking the safest possible routes to get back on track as the spread eases.

According to a report by KAN News, the island nation will now allow Israeli nationals for tourism purposes without them having to undergo any kind of quarantine.

This, however, applied only on the condition that travelers would have to take and test negative for a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving on the island.

The move comes after a sharp decline in active cases and steadfast recoveries in both countries. Cyprus has shied away from reaching the 1,000 mark in coronavirus cases and has thus far reported only 17 deaths.

Meanwhile Israel too is making its way to normalcy with the economy’s staggered reopening, and only 2,600 pending active cases. The rate of infection in the country is progressively dropping daily.

 

NICOSIA REPORTS TURKEY BLOCKING MEDICAL SUPPLIES FROM ENTERING CYPRUS

 

The media in Cyprus has reported Turkish aviation authorities preventing a chartered airplane with medical supplies reaching Cyprus.

The Cypriot government-chartered airplane, which contained over 36 tones worth of mask, gowns, gloves, and other medical equipment from China was blocked by Turkey.

According to Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos’s statement to the press, Turkey’s disallowance of aircraft enter Cyprus via the Turkish airspace resulted in the pilot having to recalculate his course. Added to this was the issue of lack of fuel.

The issue was finally solved with the pilot redirecting to Moscow airport in Russia. The plane will refuel here before embarking to Cyprus via a different route that does not include the Turkish airspace.

He further added that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed of this interruption so as to take proper actions against concerned parties as and when required.

 

CYPRUS REOPENING AIRPORTS FROM JUNE 9

 

Cyprus is all set to reopen its airports on June 9 after ending strict lockdowns put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This reopening is happening right as said lockdown restrictions which were imposed to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus are being slowly lifted.

In a statement to the media, Cypriot’s Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said that the authorities expect to fully contain virus’s by June. This means that it would be safe to go back to business as usual and open airports and other transportation means – especially since it is very essential.

The island nation was one of the few countries in Europe that took early measures to prevent the coronavirus outbreak to take deadly proportions. Borders were sealed in around the middle of March – much before other European nations, and went on to stop all passenger flights since March 21.

Cyprus currently has 918 cases of COVID-19.

 

WELFARE SPENDING SPIKES BY 108% DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK

 

The government has reported a sharp increase in welfare spending resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19.

The report says that the state’s welfare spending has increased to a total of €513 million as the state has launched multiple support programs to ensure the personal and professional safety of its residents.

The money spent during the period of January to April 2020, is an increase of a whopping 108% – as compared to the €246.9 million that was spent between January to April 2019.

The report clearly attributes the spike in welfare spending to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resulting expansion of the National Health Scheme and its payment.

The top spender in this regard has been the Ministry of Labor, which spent over €153 million in the month of April. Its total expenditure in the January-April period has been €407 million. This was confirmed by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou, who explained to the Parliament how a sum of €219 million was paid to the people from March May through a variety of welfare schemes.

The spending has had an adverse effect on the state’s financial status. The state revenue has gone down by 13.5% during this period, as opposed to the expenditure which has risen up by 16.5%.

 

RYANAIR RESTARTING SERVICES IN CYPRUS FROM THE 1ST OF JULY

 

As coronavirus outbreak eases, European nations are slowly opening up to return to a new normal. Temporarily shut down Ryanair is all set to begin flights to and from Cyprus from the 1st of July.

The budget airliner reported that it will start offering daily flights all Northern European countries including the Netherlands, Ireland, the UK, Germany and Belgium, to top holiday destination airports such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and of course Cyprus.

It will, however, be operated only at 40% of its schedule and remain compliant with health and social distancing guidelines – even as it continues to serve during peak tourism season.

To give the business a much-needed boost, Ryanair is launching an exclusive travel sale, offering travelers fares as low as €29.99 for a one-way flight. Seats must be booked by May 28 midnight, however.

 

17 MIGRANTS TO BE DEPORTED FOR TERROR LINKS

 

The Cypriot government is all set to deport 17 migrants for having links with terrorist organizations.

The government recently announced that the 17, who were arrested on the basis of suspicion of having links to extremist groups or being part of terror activities were being held in a detention centre.

They will be deported once the transport system is back online after the end of the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions.

According to a statement by the ministry, the information of the individuals’ involvement in terror groups was verified by Interpol and Europol. Both organizations iterated that these people either belonged to extremist groups, or were directly involved in acts of terrorism.

The details of these people were not disclosed for security reasons.

 

12% OF CYPRIOT POPULATION TESTED FOR COVID-19

 

Cyprus has successfully tested over 12% of its total population for the novel coronavirus.

Health minister Constantinos Ioannou recently revealed to the House health committee that the island nation is now the sole country in all of the European Union to achieve this status.

He further added that Cyprus will continue its contact tracing to further test people for the deadly pandemic-causing virus.

Minister Ioannou went on to explain how over €6.7m has been spent thus far over testing, and that the expectations are for prices to go down further.

Tests in Cyprus currently cost €65, only second to Romania’s €63 – which is the cheapest in the European Union.

 

SPIKE IN CYPRIOT FIRMS BEING TARGETED BY HACKERS

 

According to Google, many “hacker-for-hire” firms that are backed by the Cypriot government are now targeting consulting firms, healthcare facilities and financial institutions all over the island nation.

Google went on to say how they sent over 1700 warnings to users whose accounts were compromised by these government-based hackers. Clearly exploiting the coronavirus pandemic, they use phishing and hacking techniques under the guise of messages related to COVID-19.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group says that many of these “hacker-for-hire” firms are actually based in India. They have been creating Gmail accounts that spoof top organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

RUSSIAN NATIONALS FLYING TO CYPRUS DESPITE LOCKDOWNS

 

The coronavirus pandemic has led to lockdowns all over the world, with all forms of transport suspended till further notice. With no trains or planes in sight, all travel plans, and trips have been foreseeably canceled. This has not, however, stopped the wealthy and affluent in Russia from fulfilling their plans.

Private jet companies have reported a sharp rise in demands of planes from rich Russian nationals who wish to spend time away in Europe away from their home country.

Many of these have close relations with countries such as the UK or Cyprus – be that the form of owned property, close relatives, permanent residency or even dual nationality.

Believing that their private homes abroad would be safer than those at home, these people have been seeing paying a lump sum of anywhere between 16,000 to 25,000 euros per flight. Notably, this would generally be the cost of the air fare of more than 13 passengers.

 

FIRE DESTROYS KITI VEGETATION

 

A massive fire burned more than 2½ hectares worth of vegetation in Cyprus’ Softades area.

The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning on the road from Kiti to Mazotos. The vegetation it destroyed included olive and eucalyptus trees, reeds and other wild plants and vegetation.

It took over 2 hours of fighting before the firefighters finally brought it under control. More than 4 vehicles from the Larnaca station were used for this purpose.

 

HOEGH CONFIRMS INSTALLATION PROPOSAL OF FRSU IN CYPRUS

 

Rumors have finally been put to rest as Norwegian energy company Hoegh LNG has finally confirmed that it had indeed submitted a proposal to install of a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FRSU) in Cyprus.

According to a statement from the company itself, officials sent letters to President Nicos Anastasiades along with finance and energy ministers, where they highlighted the key benefits and advantages to installing an FSRU in Cyprus, and especially at Vasiliko.

Hoegh LNG went on to add that the main purpose behind sending these letters was to help the government understands more regarding the proposal that had officially been submitted to Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (Cera).

In the meantime, CERA itself, refused to make any comments due to the ‘under-review’ status of the application.

The proposal in question includes installing said FSRU at Vasiliko in Quarter 1 of of 2021, along with a pipeline that would to transport gas to EAC’s power plant, as well as other potent users.

 

EXPORTS IN CYPRUS FALLEN BY 40% IN JANUARY-FEBRUARY

 

In news that indicates hard time for the Cypriot economy, a Eurostat report has revealed that over 40% of exports have dropped in the period of January to February in 2020.

According to the report, the value of exported goods reached around €0.4 billion – around €0.1 billion less than the average €0.3 billion.

In the meantime, imports remained steady at €1.5 billion – out of which, €0.8 billion was from the EU while the remaining €0.6 billion was from other parts of the world.

This means that Cyprus faced a -€1.0 billion deficit in the aforementioned January-February period.

The struggling economy of the EU along with the growing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic are being touted as the main reasons for this downturn.

 

80 ARRESTED OVERNIGHT FOR DISOBEYING CURFEW

 

The coronavirus pandemic and its resulting lockdown have kept many on the edge, and many are resisting and violating the law. In the latest incident, over 80 persons were arrested within 12 hours in the space of Saturday night and Sunday morning during the Easter weekend.

The police, who carried out over 4,000 during the time booked violators of the lockdown. They conducted checks 976, 815, and 311 checks in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca, booking 31, 20 and 16 persons respectively.

Others were booked in Famagusta and adjoining areas, where over a thousand were checked.

 

CYPRUS HAS EUROPE’S LOWEST BIRTH RATES, SAYS STUDY

 

In a news that reveals much about Cyprus’ demographics, a Eurostat study has shown that Cyprus some of Europe’s lowest birth rates.

According to data obtained from the study, countries with the lowest birth rates in Europe included Luxembourg (at 1.38 births per woman), Greece (1.35), Cyprus (1.32), Italy (1.29), Spain (1.26) and Malta (1.23).

In the meantime, highest birth rates were observed in Czech Republic (at 1.71 births per woman), Denmark (1.73), Ireland (1.75), and Sweden and Romania (tied at 1.76). France was seen having the highest birth rate at 1.88.

Meanwhile, for 2018, the average birth rate for all of European Union (EU) was 1.55, as of 2018.

 

TURKISH NAVY CONDUCTS MILITARY EXERCISES AMIDST TENSIONS WITH CYPRUS AND GREECE

 

Amidst severe tensions with Cyprus and Greece, and the coronavirus pandemic to boot, the Turkish Navy was seen carrying out operational readiness exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean seas.

The military exercise included several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and helicopters, a maritime patrol aircraft, and 27 warships participated actively in the training.

The military drill is being touted as bad news as Ankara is currently on bad terms with both Nicosia and Athena due to its forced hydrocarbon drilling activities.

On the 21st of April, the government of Cyprus called Turkey’s drilling activities an “act of piracy” that breached the island nation’s rights. Greece had released a statement criticizing Turkey as well.

Turkey, on the other hand, made it clear that its drilling activities were on the west of island, which they regard as well within its rights.

 

NO NEW COVID-19 CASES REPORTED IN TURKISH CYPRUS IN A WEEK

 

In what is being considered great news amidst the looming pandemic, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has not reported any new COVID-19 cases in the last week.

In a statement to the media, Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli revealed that in 2,868 conducted in the last few weeks, not a single sample tested positive. He went on to say that 546 persons were tested on Friday alone, with no positives.

The last positive case in Northern Cyprus was confirmed on April 17. This was after the first case was reported in the territory on March 10 – a tourist from Germany. 108 cases have been reported there so far, and 4 persons have died.

Over 8,423 persons have been tested for the disease so far.

 

CYPRUS RECEIVES A 5TH BATCH OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES FROM CHINA

 

Cyprus has been receiving medical supplies to combat the coronavirus crisis – the island nation is currently accepting its fifth consignment of medicines and supplies from China.

In a statement to the press, Health Ministry of Cyprus announced that the consignment will contain shoe covers, protective masks, and testing swabs – all of which are necessary equipment for medical professionals.

Donated by China, the supplies, once received, will be distributed to State Health Service hospitals for usage.

The island country has so far used around 35 tons of medical supplies donated by China.

The Chinese Embassy in Cyprus recently said in a statement to the press that Health Ministry has expressed its regards to China for their kind contribution. Huang Xingyuan, the Chinese Ambassador to Cyprus went on to praise the preventative efforts made by the Cypriot authorities in his social media account.

Cyprus currently has a total of 795 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

 

BRITISH TOURISTS STRANDED ON CYPRUS TO BE FLOWN HOME

 

The lockdowns put in place have inconvenienced many, and tourists are no exception. In Cyprus alone, hundreds of tourists have been left stranded.

British tourists standred here, however, are about to get a reprieve, the British government is making arrangement to fly them out of the island nation.

In one of the biggest repatriation missions of recent times, the British government will be sending 10 flights to rescue all British tourists who are currently left stranded due to ongoing travel restrictions.

The flights, which will run from April 25 to April 30, will be operated by Aegean Airlines. The flights will arrive to Larnaca and return to Edinburgh, Heathrow, and Manchester.

The meaure has been taken by the Foreign Office seeing the plight of stranded tourists and the ban on flights that is set to remain at least till April 30.

A statement by the Foreign Office clarified the situation, saying that while all commercial flights have been banned, few cargo and humanitarian flights will still be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

 

LIDL TO DONATE €40,000 TO CYPRUS RED CROSS SOCIETY

 

In what is being considered a breather for the frontline fighters in the novel coronavirus pandemic, retail giant Lidl has collected €40,000 to be donated to the Cyprus Red Cross Society.

The amount, which was collected through the Favorina initiative, was sourced from selling Favorina products at 17 Lidl stores on the island nation in the months of March and April.

The company sent a heartwarming message to patrons by showcasing Favorina products as their Easter specials to support the Cyprus Red Cross Society (CRCS). The organization, which has been working tirelessly to manage the pandemic, will be receiving the €40,000 financial reward.

The money was specifically collected by donating €0.30 from every sold product under the Favorina label. The collected grand total of €40,000 will be used to support the vulnerable, the elderly, and migrants, tending to their alimentary needs.

Besides the donation, Lidl Cyprus has also donated “Love Packages.” These include food and essentials for citizens in need.

 

TOURISM IN CYPRUS DOWN BY 67%

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the death of several industries and business, and the Cyprus tourism industry is no exception. As a result of the nationwide lockdown that been put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic, tourist arrivals in the island nation has fallen manifold.

According to statistics, the percentage of tourist arrivals has fallen by a record-breaking 67.4% – going down from 169,934 in March 2019, to 55,342 in March 2020.

This is due to the lockdown that has been imposed from 15 March. It includes bans on entry and exit to the country for all residents and non-residents, including tourists. This led to the number of tourist arrivals falling by leaps and bounds.

Arrivals from the UK fell by a record 70.2% in March 2020 (as opposed to the same time last year), while that from Russia and Greece declined by 60.8% and 66.6% respectively.

This has been a very bad news for the country’s economy, especially after it enjoyed a record 3.97 million visitors in 2019.

 

BOAT WITH MIGRANTS HAS BEEN FOUND OFF OF CAPE GRECO

 

In the latest instance of migrants seeking asylum, a boat with around a hundred migrants reached the southern part of Cape Greco.

The Cypriot Coast Guard is currently on the way to offer them necessary supplies but will not be able to allow them to enter the country due to the lockdown in place to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The boats currently lies around 10 nautical miles off of the south coast of Cape Greco.

 

EXPLOSION AT CYPRUS TIME OFFICES

 

A pipe bomb has exploded right outside MC Digital Media Group’s office building.

The building currently houses the Cyprus Times along with other media outlets that the group owns. The offices are located in Limassol in south Cyprus.

The windows were cracked, and some minor damage was sustained by the building. No one was injured.

According to Myriella Avraamidou, the editor-in-chief of Cyprus Times, the attack was related to the reporting activities of the news outlet. That being said, she had neither heard of nor received any threats regarding any of the articles before the bombing.

So far, the police have negated any personal motivations behind the attack. They are currently investigating ties between the bombing and the journalistic activities of the outlets of MC Digital Media Group.