In the interest of public health and safety, the Cypriot government has brought back the mandate for residents to wear masks indoors.

The mandate, which makes it compulsory for all above the age of 12 to wear masks indoors, has come after a fresh surge of COVID-19 cases being recorded.

According to a statement from the government, the spike in infection follows a global one where people are largely infected with the BA.5 and BA.4 strains of the virus.

The Health Ministry numbers reveal that in a total population of 916,000, 147,623 were submitted between 25th June to 5th July. Out of these 19,503 samples were returned positive – a fairly high number.

These numbers exclude the 250,000 people who reside in the separated Turkish or Northern Cyprus, based on ethnic grounds.

While indoor mask wearing does not mean that people have to wear masks at home and when with family members (or others you may live with) in a vehicle, it applies to all other spaces with an indoor setting. Masks are also not compulsory for athletes, cooks when they are grilling, and those suffering from deformities or ailments that make it difficult for them to wear masks.

Those who violate the mandate – including individuals and businesses – will be awarded a fine of 300 euros on the spot.