It's only a week since I wrote about some new restrictions in Cyprus, until the end of the month. The only one that affected me was that shops would only serve those who were vulnerable and/or over 65 from opening time until 9.00am. And that masks are required outside as well as in public places, other than when exercising, or in quiet street with nobody else around.
Sadly, it hasn't made any difference to the number of new cases being diagnosed daily. Here's the Worldometer graph that's now showing:
"Ecclesiastical and other forms of religious worship in religious places are performed without the presence of believers."
Today there was a summary (in English) on the Cyprus Mail website although I don't think it's particularly helpful to use the word 'Draconian' in the description of the not-quite-lockdown for Limassol and Paphos. It is, after all, nowhere near as severe as the restrictions during April.
However the best place to look for all the details is the press release on the PIO site. I checked, out of interest, and the phrase about church services in Limassol and Paphos states:
"Church services and other forms of religious worship in religious places take place without a congregation present."
Which is how we had understood the odd auto-translation above. While this still sounds a bit strange to those of us of Protestant backgrounds, it's important, as I understand it, for the Greek Orthodox priests to say/sing their liturgy in their church buildings on Sundays and other special occasions, but it doesn't matter so much whether anyone else is there. The Protestant churches will have to return to live-streaming, probably from their homes. Or maybe from their church buildings, if they are able to do so without any congregation present.
So Cyprus has essentially introduced a 'tier' system, a little like those which the UK and various other countries have adopted, although it hasn't been officially described as such. But I assume that, if cases start to get worse in Larnaka, we too are likely to have these stricter measures implemented.
We just hope and pray that numbers will reduce, here and elsewhere, and that the hospitals will cope. There are more effective treatments now available, as the virus is better understood, but all over Europe and the United States people are still dying, more than did back in the spring when some of the treatment was guesswork.