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Overview of legal measures taken by the Republic of Cyprus as of 24/04/2020 in order to limit the spread of Covid-19. Please note: Due to the extraordinary situation, the legislation is in continuous evolution and may change very fast.


Due to the fact that the protection of the public health and the healthcare system are a responsibility of the Republic and aiming at the limitation of the COVID-19 coronavirus spread, the protection of public health, and also the prevention of possible health system collapse as a result of the spread of the virus, while taking into consideration the human resources and the material and technical infrastructure which will be necessary to possibly tackle the rapid virus spread, and because of the necessity to implement additional and stricter measures is imperative – a number of decrees and/or Regulations have been issued in Cyprus. The Cypriot parliament also passed ‘Law 27(I) of 2020’ in relation to temporary emergency measures on 27 March 2020.

Recently, the Cyprus government has announced that due to the good results and the decline in the number of infections, it will now adopt a transition period in which it will relax all restrictive measures in phases. Although it has been mentioned that should there be another increase in infections they will re-introduce the restrictive measures.


1.1 Legal basis

As one would expect, the legislation in relation to COVID19 continuously evolves as the threat of the spread of this virus is a novel and developing issue. Below are the key Decrees and Regulations which have been issued in Cyprus until today (24.04.2020):

- the Minister of Health exercising his authorities given by specific articles of the Quarantine Law Act, CAP 260 (as has been amended) and which were granted to him with the Decision of the Council of Ministers dated 10/03/2020 has issued 17 decrees.

- The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works exercising his authorities given by the CIVIL AVIATION LAWS 2002 TO 2019 and the Regulation (ER) no. 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council of the 24th September 2008, as amended by the Regulation (EU) 2019/2 of the 11th of December 2018 has issued 3 decrees.

1.2 Border

Closing of Borders

The first case of Coronavirus was confirmed in Cyprus on Monday 9th of March 2020. On Friday 13th March, the President of Cyprus, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, announced that from March 15 Cyprus will shut its borders for 15 days to all except Cypriots, Europeans working on the island and people with special permits in a precautionary move against coronavirus.

It is noted that between 18.00 on 16/3/2020 and 30/4/2020, entry to the Republic of Cyprus will only be granted to individuals who fall under the categories listed below, provided that, upon arrival, they are able to submit a medical certificate, issued no more than 4 days before, showing that they have been tested for coronavirus by certified medical centers in their country of origin:

  • Cypriot citizens.

  • Legal residents in the Republic of Cyprus.

  • European nationals or third-country nationals working in the Republic.

  • Nationals of countries who are in a designated diplomatic service or mission under bilateral or international Conventions.

  • European or third country nationals attending educational institutions in the Republic of Cyprus.

  • Individual cases of European nationals or third-country nationals for unavoidable professional obligations, provided that the relevant permit has been obtained from the competent Ministry.

All travelers returning to Cyprus from abroad, regardless of their country of origin, will be placed under a 14-day compulsory quarantine at accommodation facilities designated by the Republic of Cyprus.

In order to control the spread of coronavirus, buffer zone crossings between the Republic of Cyprus and the occupied area of Cyprus have been effectively temporarily closed.

Travel advice by Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Avoid all travel abroad unless absolutely necessary.

Travel advice validity period: From 16/3/2020, 18:00 Cyprus time (GMT+2), up to and including 30/4/2020.

In light of the continuing spread globally of coronavirus COVID-19 and given its classification by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Cypriot citizens to completely avoid travelling abroad unless absolutely necessary.

1.3 Visas

Press Release Civil Registry and Migration Department Nicosia, 19 March 2020


Implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19

by the Civil Registry and Migration Department

The Civil Registry and Migration Department, in line with the Decision of the Council of Ministers, dated 15 March 2020, concerning the operation of the Public Sector, announces that the Department is operating with limited personnel. Therefore, no applications for the issue or renewal of residence permits are accepted for submission, except in cases of extreme urgency.

The Department reassures the public that, for third-country nationals who possess residence permits or tourist visas, whose validity has expired within a reasonable period of time and cannot be renewed or extended or for the third-country nationals who cannot be repatriated, no measures will be taken against them.

Moreover, concerning the Orders issued by the Minister of Health, in relation to restrictions on the right of entry into the Republic of Cyprus, under the present circumstances, the issuance of all entry permits is suspended.

The Public can contact the Department through the following telephone numbers:

General Employment and Visitors: 22-403930, 22-403945

Companies of Foreign Interest: 22-804445, 22-403946

Civil Registry: 22-804465, 22-804482

European Citizens: 22-403926, 22-403919

Students: 22-804531

You can also contact us by email at: or by fax: 22-804507.

1.4 Export control

All exports of pharmaceuticals temporarily banned by decree

The export of all medicines from Cyprus to any other country has been banned with immediate effect, it was announced on Friday.

The new decree stipulates that the only way medical products can be exported is with the personal approval of health minister Constantinos Ioannou.

A statement said the decree had been adopted “because the protection of public health and the health care system are the responsibility of the Republic, with the aim of limiting the spread of Covid-19, protecting public health and preventing the possible collapse of the health system.”

“There is an urgent need to safeguard and maintain a sufficient stock of medicinal products in the Republic to serve the needs of the population and to avoid shortages at home.”

The decree goes on to say that the written approval by the minister is necessary for any exports, including those to other member states of the EU.

Ioannou will decide whether to approve or reject an application for export after having studied all the relevant documents which the director of customs has to submit to the health ministry.

No restrictions on imports and exports

In order to continue the country's unhindered trade activity, no restrictions have been applied on imports and exports, including essentials.

1.5 Lockdown


Cyprus has been on lockdown since mid-March with all non-essential businesses closing and people told to stay home being allowed one essential journey daily while a curfew is also observed from 9PM to 6AM. These measures were extended until April 30. People will only be allowed to travel if they are going to work in essential services, to needed buy supplies, visiting a doctor or pharmacy, or going to a bank if an online transaction is impossible.

Also exempted from the ban, are people who provide assistance to vulnerable groups and close family attending funerals, weddings, or baptisms, provided they do not exceed 10 people.

Exercising and walking a dog are also allowed as long as they do not exceed two people and they are restricted to the area around their residence. Divorced parents visiting or transporting their children are also exempted from the ban. People wanting to travel for the above-mentioned reasons may either carry proof of the purpose of travelling or send an SMS to 8998 and wait for a reply. Everyone moving outside must carry their ID or passport and additional proof regarding their business.

Purpose of Movement

Movements of citizens for serving needs which cannot be covered in alternative ways, are only allowed for:

  • Travelling to and from the workplace during working hours

  • The following eight categories vis-à-vis the purpose of movement:

  1. Visit to a pharmacy, blood donation center or a doctor

  2. Visit to a store to buy essential goods / services

  3. Visit to a bank, provided that electronic transactions are not possible

  4. Absolutely necessary visits to government services or services of the wider public sector and local government

  5. Movement with the purpose of assisting people who are unable to serve or protect themselves or who are in self-confinement and / or compulsory confinement (quarantine)

  6. Movement for physical activity or for the needs of a pet, alone or in a group of no more than two persons and in areas adjacent to their homes

  7. Movement with the purpose of attending a ceremony (e.g. funeral, wedding, christening) of first and second degree relatives, not exceeding 10 persons

  8. Movement for any other purpose which may be justified under the prohibition of movement measures

The movement of citizens between 9.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. is prohibited, except for those citizens holding a Confirmation of Movement of an Employee (Form A) and provided that the form allows them to be moving within that timeframe.

Procedure for an Approval of Movement

  • To travel to and from the workplace during working hours: the confirmation of movement is fixed (Form A) and is provided, under the sole responsibility of the signatory, by the employer, or in the case of a legal person, by his/her legal representative or, in the case of a freelance professional or self-employed person, by himself/herself.

  • As regards the aforementioned eight categories vis-à-vis the purpose of movement, the following options are available as to the procedure for attaining approval:

For persons under the age of 65 (1 option):

  • Only by sending an SMS to the number 8998, written in the correct format

For persons over the age of 65 (3 options):

  • By sending an SMS: to the number 8998, written in the correct format, or

  • By filling out and printing Form B: (Statement for the movement of citizens by way of exception), which should be signed by the interested party, who bears sole responsibility, and should include his/her full name, date of birth, identification proof (e.g. ID card number), home address, the time as well as the purpose of movement, or

  • Citizens’ Declaration: In the event that citizens do not have access to the announced forms for the confirmation of movement, they may carry with them a handwritten confirmation containing the following information: full name, date of birth, identification proof (e.g. ID card number), home address, time of movement as well as the specific purpose of that movement (which must fall within the categories excluded from the prohibition of unnecessary movements, as these are stipulated in the relevant Decree), signature and date.

For all:

In order to facilitate the movement of citizens, by way of exception, who cannot use the 8998 text messaging (SMS) service, a call centre service has been set up, which citizens are advised to use only in the below cases:

  • Subscribers of foreign telecommunications providers, as the SMS service does not support messages from non-Cypriot numbers,

  • Citizens who face any kind of problem while trying to attain approval through the SMS service.

The service will be available to citizens from 06:00 to 21:00, in both Greek and English, as follows:

  • For Cypriot phone numbers: 80012012

  • For foreign phone numbers: +357 22 263030

It is noted that the call centre, through an automated IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, will only service calls from mobile phones.

Citizens using this system for movement by way of exception, will be receiving a relevant reply through text message (SMS) on their mobile phones.

Please be reminded that, as per the relevant decrees, only one movement by way of exception is allowed per day, regardless of the method used to attain the relevant approval.

Citizens bear personal responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided to the call center and shall be held liable for any false statements.

During each movement, citizens must have with them, in order to show it in the event of a check, the filled-out form for the confirmation of movement (print out or handwritten) or the confirmation SMS that they have received, as well as identification proof as follows:

  • Cyprus citizens: Cyprus ID card

  • European citizens: Registration confirmation

  • Third country nationals: Residence permit

Regarding ONLY European citizens and third country nationals who justifiably do not have a registration confirmation or a residence permit, respectively, then, by way of exception, another identification document will be accepted (e.g. international passport, international ID card, diplomatic passport).

The following restrictions apply:

For all movements by way of exception, each confirmation of movement refers to just one particular movement.

Besides movement for work purposes, citizens are only allowed movements by way of exception once a day.

Confirmation of Movement Forms

Form A: Confirmation of Movement of an Employee

For confirming the movement of an employee (Form A) to and from the workplace, the following form must be filled out:

Form B: Statement for the movement of citizens by way of exception (it only applies to persons over the age of 65)

Regarding the statement for the movement of citizens in exceptional cases (Form B), the following form must be filled out:


Each citizen is only allowed to send one (1) SMS per day!

The SMS can be sent from a mobile phone to the number 8998, without any charges.

The SMS must be written in the following format:

  • X space Identification proof number space postal code of residence


  • Χ stands for the purpose of movement, i.e. the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 which correspond to the reasons for movement.

Identification Proof Number for:

  • Cypriot citizens: Cyprus ID card number

  • European citizens and third country nationals: the ALIEN REGISTRATION NUMBER (ARC) which is stated on the registration confirmation or residence permit.

  • European citizens and third country nationals without an ARC: the number of another acceptable identification proof (international passport or international ID card number, diplomatic passport number).

As regards the format of the identification proof number, it must be noted that the system accepts: numbers, up to three letters and ten characters in total (numbers and letters).

Once they send the message, citizens will have the right to move for a reasonable amount of time depending on the purpose of movement.

After sending the SMS, a reply will be received in the following format:


In case of a mistake in the format of the message, the citizen will receive the following reply:


If a citizen exceeds the maximum limit of movements permitted daily (one SMS per day) he / she will receive the following reply:


Since the movement of persons between the hours of 21:00 and 6:00 is prohibited, except for those citizens holding a Confirmation of Movement of an Employee (Form A) and provided that the form allows them to be moving within that timeframe, all SMS messages sent within the aforementioned timeframe will receive the following reply:


1.6 Open Businesses, Industries and allowed Gatherings

Closing of all non-essential businesses

In mid-March 2020 Cyprus closed all non-essential businesses and retail shops to contain the spread of coronavirus while most people are urged to work from home.

From Monday, 16 March from 6 am for four weeks (subsequently extended until 30 April 2020), the closure of the following businesses is mandatory:

  • Shopping Malls & Department Stores,

  • Cafes, restaurants, bars and all catering companies with the exception of those that offer home delivery services,

  • Night clubs

  • Cinemas and theatres,

  • Libraries

  • Museums, archaeological and historical sites,

  • Gambling agencies, casinos, etc.,

  • Sports facilities, sports clubs, cultural groups and associations,

  • Theme parks (amusement parks, etc.),

  • Barber shops, hairdressers, beauty-massage centres.

As long as they observe strict hygiene rules, they may carry out administrative and other operations behind closed doors.

For reasons of health safety and health of the community, the following categories of enterprises remain open:

  • Food retailing (e.g. supermarkets must ensure there are no more than one person per 8 m2);

  • Pharmacies

  • Private health services (clinical laboratories),

  • Markets

  • Bakeries and confectioneries (no table seats),

  • Gas stations

  • Retailers which do not fall under the category of suspension of their operations can continue their work by ensuring that there are no more than five workers in the workplace.

All other companies that are not mentioned in the above categories can continue to operate, as long as they strictly adhere to the hygiene and staff protection rules.

Hotels will suspend operations until 30 April 2020. To serve existing customers, they may continue their operation for a period of six days from today.

With regard to the public service by private, public and wider public sector enterprises, it is strictly stated that the presence of persons in the service area should not exceed one person per 8 square metres.

1.7 Supply of essential medical goods

Supply from China

Medical equipment for health professionals in public hospitals arrived in Cyprus from China. Medical equipment recently ordered by the health ministry included, surgical masks, high-protection uniforms, goggles and respirators.

Maximum set on prices of Personal Hygiene Products

Introduction of a Maximum in the prices of personal hygiene products (masks, antiseptics, antibacterial fluids, soaps, conduct molecular tests for the Coronavirus, etc.) for the treatment of market abuse.

1.8 Health care

Health Clinics (referral from the Personal Physician on the basis of an algorithm or by tracing)

In Public Health Clinics, citizens are referred in the following ways:

1. Referral: People with suspected symptomatology,

2. Tracing: With the confirmation of an event, the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit investigates and traces of the contacts that had the positive cases.

See the press release here

Access to health services for detection for COVID-19 disease.

  • Wanting to ensure the unhindered access of citizens to health services, in case of covid-19 symptoms, we follow the procedures recorded in the following link.

Contact beneficiaries with the Personal Physician on Coronavirus issues

  • Information from the Health Insurance Organisation to the public for communication of persons presenting symptoms compatible with coronavirus infection (acute respiratory infection with symptoms such as general malaise/payment and/or fever, and/or dry cough, and/or myalgia and/or shortness of breath and/or chest pain) with their personal physician.

More information at the following link.

Operation of a psychological telecare service to serve sufferers from COVID-19 and the public.

  • Start of operation of psychological telecare service. The Service will primarily cover the needs of COVID-19 sufferers who have a severe mental health history with a view to:

(a) the regular reassessment of their mental state;

(b) the prevention and timely handling of possible relapses in psychopathology;

(c) support and guidance around other psychological issues that may arise.

See the announcement here

Call centers 1412/1450 and 1420

  • The Ministry of Health is at the public's disposal for information in addition to the relevant online platforms and telephone numbers 1412 and 1450 providing information about Coronavirus. In addition, the 1420 call center is also in operation, which concerns only the reporting of symptoms by people who meet the clinical and epidemiological criteria.

Correct way of contacting the authorities to investigate cases of Coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health (MOH), the Health Insurance Organization (HIO) and the Pancyprian Medical Association (PMA), in response to the effects of the spread of Coronavirus, inform citizens of the following:

1. In case a citizen is experiencing suspicious symptoms related to the Coronavirus, he is asked to contact his Personal Physician by telephone, who will give him the initial instructions to follow. The Personal Physician will communicate, there and where necessary, with the Epidemiological Surveillance and Control Unit of Infectious Diseases of the Ministry of Health and they will decide jointly the plan for dealing with each case and inform the citizen accordingly.

2. If a citizen has been diagnosed positive and should be confined at home, he will be monitored by telephone by his Personal Physician, who will provide him with instructions. Therefore, these citizens should contact their Personal Physicians and follow their instructions faithfully.

3. Given the emergency situation, all citizens are expected to cooperate to the fullest extent and, above all, to help health professionals stay in action by providing their services during this period. In order to do this, citizens for non-emergencies, which do not involve coronavirus symptomatology, are invited to be served by the Staff or Specialist Doctors by telephone. Only in cases of emergencies and serious cases, according to the doctor's judgement and following a telephone evaluation, citizens will be served by doctors in their clinics. Similar guidelines have already been sent to all Doctors of the GHS.

4. In the event that the Personal Physician is unable to serve the beneficiaries of his list, he will have appointed a replacement Physician, who temporarily undertakes their service. In the event that a beneficiary does not have a response either from his/her Personal Physician or his/her replacement, he/she is expected to inform the Organization at the e-mail address in order to facilitate the work of the providers as much as possible.

Treatment of outpatient patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection

- As regards the treatment of outpatient patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, azithromycin and/or hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine are available for prescribing. They will be provided by specific pharmacies, after prescribing the patient by his/her Personal Physician and an arrangement has been made so that they are transferred to the specific individuals by a group of volunteers, to serve the patients, who must remain under house arrest.

- The above medicines are administered within the framework of the Guidelines prepared by the Advisory Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Health for the treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic on the basis of the scientific data available so far.

- Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine drugs have approved indications for the treatment of malaria and for the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases. Their effectiveness has not, at present, been demonstrated through large clinical trials, to treat COVID19 disease. It is noted that according to the Guidelines, these medicines are used to treat the symptoms of COVID-19 disease and not to cure the disease.

- According to the European Medicines Agency, these medicines may have serious side effects, particularly when taken in high doses and in combination with other medicines, and should not be given without a prescription and without medical supervision. The drug azithromycin is an antibiotic of the class of macrolides, which is administered to treat respiratory infections. The Ministry of Health urges the public to follow the instructions of their Personal Physicians regarding the administration of medication and to observe meticulously the hygiene and protection measures to prevent the transmission and spread of the Coronavirus.

Planning for the service of incidents from the hospitals of the state health services OKYPY and the private hospitals.

  • In order to discharge the hospitals of OKYPY so that they can respond effectively and immediately to the new increased needs created to address the pandemic, the following have been decided:

1. Patient referrals to private hospitals

  • At this stage, and in view of the readiness and availability that the hospitals of OKYPY should have, the private hospitals will serve:

o Emergencies through their Emergency Departments, which are either transported by ambulance or directed by patients on their own,

o Referrals from clinics and emergency department (TAEP) of the infirmary of OKYPY, for emergencies or emergency surgeries that are not processed in the infirmaries of OKYPY.

  • It is pointed out that private hospitals only undertake emergencies and not cold cases. For patients who are sent to the private sector by themselves and do not fall into the above categories, the Ministry of Health will not undertake any compensation.

  • It is also pointed out that suspected incidents of coronavirus are only handled by the HOSPITALS of OKYPY on the basis of an existing recorded procedure, which has been notified.

2. Appointment situating to outpatient infirmaries of OKYPY

  • Patients with appointments to outpatient infirmaries of public hospitals that have been cancelled should contact Specialist Doctors contracted with the GHS or their Personal Physicians for a referral (in cases where they do not have) or guidelines/handling. The Medical Doctors as well as the Special Doctors of the General Healthcare Service are obliged to serve these patients.

3. Scheduled surgeries in OKYPY infirmaries - Emergencies

  • All scheduled emergency surgeries are transferred by the treating doctors of public hospitals to the private sector.

  • Scheduled surgeries, which have been cancelled and involve emergencies or incidents that cannot be postponed, and for which patients have not been informed, the patients should contact their treating physicians immediately at the infirmary of OKYPY for further handling.

  • In case of non-response, citizens are invited to contact the Executive Director of their Town hospital.

4. Scheduled surgeries in OKYPY Hospitals – Cold cases

  • For scheduled cold case surgeries that have been cancelled, patients will be informed of a new date of surgery by the Hospital of OKYPY, where the operation was scheduled to take place.

5. Scheduled surgeries in OKYPY Hospitals – Cold cases, the condition of which is deteriorating or changing

  • Patients should contact their treating physicians immediately at the Hospital of OKYPY for further handling or contact special physicians contracted to the GHS or their Personal Medical Practitioners for guidance/handling.

1.9 Persons with a higher risk

CYPRUS REPUBLIC Ministry OF HEALTH Press Release 16 March 2020

Clarifications in relation to the definition of 'vulnerable groups' in relation to the measures taken for the coronavirus

1. For persons older than 60 years of age: Their employer should allow them to work both in their home and at their workplace, provided that the protection measures in their workplace are strictly observed.

It is recalled that the individual hygiene and cleanliness rules of the premises must be strictly applied. In addition, the restrictive measure on the presence in the same area at any time of the number of persons including employees, not exceeding one person per 8 sq/m of useful space, should be respected.

2. With regard to adults who have one or more of the following aggravating factors or chronic diseases: The employer must allow them to work from their home:

  • Chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchial asthma, pulmonary fibrosis (all should be on daily medication),

  • Chronic cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease, heart failure,

  • Diabetes mellitus,

  • Chronic end-stage renal failure (dialysis or peritoneal dissolution),

  • Chronic liver disease (Child Pugh score B or C),

  • Chronic neurological or neuromuscular diseases,

  • Sickle cell anaemia and other haemoglobin diseases (e.g. concomitant thalassaemia),

  • Immunosuppression (hereditary or acquired),

  • Malignancy (hematologic malignancy or solid organ),

  • Organ transplantation or primordial hematopoietic cells,

  • Pregnant women regardless of gestational age, leukaees and lactating women.

It is pointed out that the above groups may be modified depending on developments in the epidemic and the resulting clinical data.

It is understood that workers who fall within the above vulnerable population groups and will be restricted from their workplace, should submit a certificate or medical certificate from the Doctor's staff or the treating Physician or Occupational Physician, as evidence.

Payment of sickness benefit to vulnerable groups in order to be restricted from their workplace

  • Plan to grant a Special Sickness Benefit to support employees or self-employed persons who cannot work because they belong to Vulnerable Groups

See the press release here

Information and Application Submission

  • Valid until 12/4/2020 for private sector employees or self-employed persons falling into any of the following categories:

- persons who fall under the list of vulnerable groups as defined by the Ministry of Health in the press release dated 16/3/2020 or any future revision of it and hold a certificate from their personal physician (only if the nature of the work does not allow teleworking or work from home or work on flexible working hours).

- persons who are in mandatory restriction (quarantine) and self-restraint status (only if the nature of the work does not allow teleworking or work from home or work on flexible hours) under instructions from the Ministry of Health and holding a Medical Certificate issued by the Ministry of Health, or according to instructions from the Ministry of Health by the personal doctor;

- persons infected with COVID 19 and holding a certificate from the Ministry of Health;

- persons aged between 63-65 who do not receive a statutory pension, listed in categories (i), (ii) and (iii) above and holding the corresponding certificate.

  • The Special Sickness Benefit is granted only to persons who work during the period for which they apply for the Special Sickness Benefit and are insured with the Social Insurance Fund, are up to 65 years of age and do not receive a statutory pension. How is the Special Sickness Benefit calculated provided that all the terms and conditions are met:

- For employed persons and self-employed persons for whom the insurance conditions are met under the Social Insurance Law, 60% of the value of the insurance units according to the above Law

- For employed persons for whom the insurance conditions under the Social Insurance Law are not met and are insured with the Social Insurance Fund in January 2020, a Special Sickness Benefit will be paid under conditions, the amount of which will be determined by a subsequent Decision.

- For an independent worker for whom the insurance conditions are not met, it will amount to 60% of the amount of his weekly insurable earnings on the basis of income for which he was required to pay contributions to the Social Insurance Fund in the fourth quarter of 2019.

- The maximum amount that may be paid as a special sickness benefit for private sector employees and for self-employed persons for a period of one month may not exceed €1,214.

- The Special Sickness Benefit is not provided for a period for which the applicant receives an unemployment benefit, special unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, Special Leave allowance for child care.

- The period for which the Special Sickness Benefit is provided will be taken into account for the calculation and provision of the sickness benefit provided by the provisions of the Social Insurance Laws.

- For the period for which the Special Sickness Benefit will be paid, the employer is relieved of his obligation to pay the salary to his employees who received this Special Sickness Benefit.

- The period of the Special Sickness Benefit will be considered as a period of assimilated insurance for contributions to the Social Insurance Fund and the insurance account of the beneficiary will be credited accordingly.

Vulnerable groups – With a hint of proof, the entrance to supermarkets between the hours of 7-10 a.m.

  • In the context of a series of measures taken by the Government to address the COVID-19 epidemic and protect public health, the Minister of Health issued a Decree that entered into force on 21 March 2020, which stipulates that supermarkets from the time of their inception until 10 a.m. serve only people who (a) belong to the vulnerable groups. , (b) they are 65 years of age or older, and (c) with disabilities.

Information to people with disabilities on measures to tackle coronavirus

  • As part of the continuous information of the entire population on the measures taken to deal with Coronavirus, the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance proceeded to prepare information material with all relevant information and forms to inform people with disabilities about the measures to deal with Coronavirus.

  • Additional information is available at the following link.

Helping elderly and vulnerable groups to supply goods in need

Clarifications in relation to the definition of 'vulnerable groups' in relation to the measures taken for the coronavirus

A announcement by the Ministry of Health of which categories of people fall into the vulnerable groups.

For more information please follow the following link.

Covid-19 corona virus prevention guidelines for people staying on Care-homes for the Disabled and elderly

  • Instructions of the Ministry of Health on the systematic and strict application of precautions and measures, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, which is highly contagious. These measures concern residents, visitors and employees and external partners in these institutions

  • Additional information is available at the following link.

1.10 Sanctions

Fine for breach of lockdown restrictions

Violators will receive on the spot fines of €300 part any other legal action.


2.1 Legal basis

Following the relevant legislative amendment voted by Parliament on 27 March 2020, the Minister of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance exercising her authorities given by the ‘Emergency measures taken by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance for the Treatment of the Covid Virus Pandemic 19 Law 27(I) of 2020’ and issued the below Regulations from 28 March - 8 April 2020:

        • ΚΔΠ 5229 (GR) – Regulation No.1 of 2020 – Special Leave for Child Care

        • ΚΔΠ 5230 (GR) – Regulation No.2 of 2020 – Special Sickness Benefit

        • ΚΔΠ 5231 (GR) – Regulation No.3 of 2020 – Special Self-Employed Allowance

        • ΚΔΠ 5232 (GR) – Regulation No.4 of 2020 – Special Plan for The Complete Suspension of the Company’s Operations

        • ΚΔΠ 5233 (GR) – Regulation No.5 of 2020 – Special Plan for partial suspension of the Company's operations

        • ΚΔΠ 5239 (GR) – Regulation No.6 of 2020 – Supplementary Regulation

        • ΚΔΠ 5241 (GR) – Regulation No.7 of 2020 – Extension of the Deadline for payment of contributions to the Social Insurance Fund

        • ΚΔΠ 5242 (GR) – Regulation No.8 of 2020 – The Special Plans for dealing with the Impact of the Coronavirus – Supplementary Regulation

2.2 Support measures

Plan for Full Suspension of Business Operations and the provision of a Special Unemployment Allowance

  • A support scheme for companies which, as a result of the decrees, have completely suspended their work, under which the State pays a special unemployment benefit to workers equal to 60% of their earnings and a maximum of €1,214.

Plan for partial suspension of operations of the Company and the provision of a Special Unemployment Allowance

  • Support scheme for enterprises with a reduction in turnover of 25% or more, on the basis of which the State pays a special unemployment benefit to workers at 60% of their earnings and a maximum of €1,214.

Special allowance for self-employed workers

  • A plan to support self-employed workers who have completely suspended their work in accordance with the Decrees of the Minister of Health and the relevant decisions of the Council of Ministers or who have partially suspended their work, i.e. have a reduction in their turnover of more than 25% in the month of March 2020 and provide for a corresponding decrease in their turnover for the month of April 2020.

  • Under the Plan, the State pays a special allowance for self-employed workers at 60% of their insurable earnings and a maximum of €900 (for a period of four weeks)

Special Leave for Child Care

  • Childcare Special Leave Allowance scheme to support working parents who are responsible for caring for children up to 15 years of age or even children with disabilities and cannot work in a flexible way.

Special Sickness Benefit

  • Plan to grant special sickness benefit to support employees or self-employed persons who cannot work because they belong to: Vulnerable Groups People who have been quarantined

Employee Benefits Plan in the all-day afternoon programs of the Ministry of Education

  • Payment of an allowance, which will equal full pay, to approximately 5,000 persons employed in afternoon and evening Programs of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth (Music Schools, Sports Schools, State Training Institutes, Training Centers, Optional All-Day Schools, Afternoon and Evening Technical School Programs and the Program "School and Social Inclusion Actions") and other similar service purchase programs of the Ministry of Education.

Suspension of Repayment of Instalments and Interest

  • Suspension for nine months of the obligation to pay instalments including interest on credit facilities granted and/or purchased and/or managed by credit institutions, credit redemption companies, loan management companies, insurance companies and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.

  • The beneficiaries are natural persons, legal persons governed by public law, self-employed persons and businesses who have not had delays in the payment of their instalment for more than 30 days from the date provided for by existing contractual obligations on 29 February 2020.

For expressions of interest, citizens are invited to contact the credit institution they are cooperating with.

Temporary suspension of VAT payment

  • Temporary suspension for three months of the obligation to pay VAT for tax periods ending February, March and April 2020

  • It concerns all businesses, without imposing any charges or additional tax. It is noted that arrangements will be made so that debts are paid gradually, until 10 November 2020 with the exception of companies that do not have liquidity problems.

Additional information is available at the following link.

Extension of The Submission of a Tax Return

  • Provisional suspension until 31/05/2020 (as of 31/03/2020), of the submission of income tax return for companies, income of self-employed persons with accounts or obligations to submit a declaration.



Nicosia District VAT 22404615

Limassol District TAX 25848888

Larnaca District VAT 24801190

Paphos District VAT 26804310

Famagusta District 23811313 – 23811435


3.1 Support Measures

Creation of a connect2cy web platform

  • For the purpose of assisting the planning and organization of the ongoing phased repatriation of citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and those permanently resident in the Republic of Cyprus who are abroad and do not fall into the categories of beneficiaries under the current Decrees, those who wish to be repatriated as they declare their interest through the connect2cy platform are invited.

  • It is clarified that the decisions concerning repatriation will be taken according to the situation and the necessary opinion of the government's scientific collaborators.

  • With the operation of the new, modern platform, which has been accelerated due to the crisis, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is establishing a channel of direct communication with users, aiming at the reconnection of Cypriot citizens who are abroad with the homeland and their immediate information on important issues that concern and interest them.

  • The connect2cy platform has been designed from the outset on a flexible and dynamic basis and will continue to be developed and upgraded, in accordance with the requirements of Crisis Management in our time.

  • The platform is accessible at the following

More information and technical support through the National Crisis Management Centre, at (+357) 22 801000.

Plan for gradual and controlled repatriation

- According to the criteria decided on the basis of the Decisions of the Council of Ministers and the Decrees of the Minister of Health, taking into account where possible and the stated wishes of the interested parties in the relevant platform, repatriation is then carried out in the following order of priority:

(i) those who have travelled abroad for medical reasons as well as their companions

(ii) those who are students in foreign countries and who belong to vulnerable groups according to the Announcement of the Ministry of Health dated. 16/3/20

(iii) those abroad for a short stay and/or for business or service reasons

(iv) those who are Cypriot citizens with permanent residence in the Republic and are in foreign countries for temporary work purposes including their spouse and children

(v) those who are Cypriot citizens and work or attend a school abroad, in case one of their parents or brother/sister:

(a) are patients at an advanced stage whose health status is irreversible

(b) have recently died

(vi) foundation courses that will allow them to enroll in the first year of a graduate course

(vii) in the first year of a graduate course

(viii) Other beneficiaries (Cypriot citizens, students and non-cypriots, permanent residents of the Republic of Cyprus and persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention), in accordance with the period of repatriation for which they expressed an interest in the relevant platform of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • The cost of repatriation of citizens will be borne by them, except there and where the flight will be granted free of charge by air carriers or other operators and in the case of persons sent abroad for medical reasons.

  • All the above persons, upon entering the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, undergo a mandatory examination for the disease of COVID-19 and the provisions of the relevant medical protocol are followed.

Those who enter the territory of the Republic of Cyprus will remain for 14 days after their arrival in places of compulsory isolation (quarantine) designated by the State, except for persons who are abroad for medical reasons. These persons will remain in self-restraint with the approval of the Minister of Health or persons in need of medical supervision.

Web platform of Cypriot visitors and students located in the United States, as well as for the Cypriot community

  • The web platform "Covid-19: Getting through this together" provides useful information, recommendations and links for Cypriot visitors and students currently in the United Kingdom, as well as for the Cyprus community of the United Kingdom.

  • The platform is accessible at the following address:

In addition, the National Federation of Cypriots UK has launched a programme to send a free package of basic food items, mainly including Cypriot products, to students in the UK. Students who are in the UK who wish to receive the package at their residence address can express their interest and submit the required information via the website:

Medication Provision

  • Cypriot citizens who are abroad may, in cases where they need to receive necessary medication which is impossible to obtain locally in the countries where they are located, apply for assistance either by email to or alternatively by telephone by calling (+357) 22 801000. In such cases, and if objective difficulties are documented, an effort will be made to send the medicines from Cyprus, where the conditions allow.

  • For the United Kingdom in particular, it is noted that Cypriot citizens who are in the country have the right to apply to the National Health System (NHS) for the purpose of securing their medication, on the basis of a relevant bilateral agreement in force.

Cooperation with networks of doctors for the service of Cypriot citizens who are abroad.

United Kingdom arrangements

  • Cypriot citizens who are in the UK who need to contact a doctor can do so by sending an email to or by calling from the UK on the dedicated hotline 0207 124 4090, through which they will have access to a network of doctors set up in cooperation with the National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom.

Arrangements for Greece

  • Cypriot citizens who are in Greece can contact the following doctors who participate in the network directly:


Dr. Nikos Ioannou — Cardiologist +30 6932275185

Dr. Antonis Polydorou — Cardiologist +30 6946825858

Dr, Kostas Christodoulou — Gynecologist +30 6944541571

Dr. Michalis Papadimitriou — Surgeon urologist +30 6977998088

Dr. Michael Kymisis — Pathologist +30 6932967771

Dr. Andreas Zampas — Gynecologist +30 6972910006

Dr. Savvas Ioannidis — General Surgeon +30 6944528132


Dr. Charalambos Charalambous — Pathologist +30 6944601449

Dr. Dimitris Efstathiou — Surgeon +30 6945466070

Dr. Haris Fokas — Cardiologist +30 6944845244

Dr. Lambros Razis — Ophthalmologist +30 6979110033


Dr. Nikos Nikolaidis — Gynecologist +30 6945383881

Arrangements for other countries

Cypriots located in other countries can contact the locally accredited Diplomatic Missions of the Republic to obtain contact details of doctors with whom arrangements have been made, where possible, for the provision of services to Cypriot citizens. The list of Diplomatic Missions of the Republic is accessible from the Ministry's website, at the following address:

Special Student Allowance for Foreign Students

  • The €750 allowance is for students studying abroad who following the imposed travel restrictions remain outside Cyprus, in their country of study, during the Easter holidays. Applications may be submitted on the ministry's dedicated electronic platform until 22 April at the link:

  • The procedure for the payment of the allowance has already begun for the beneficiaries of claimants.

  • Students and students who make the payment will be notified of an e-mail from the Ministry.


4.1 Support Measures

Support for Tourism

  • Additional appropriations for the implementation of actions to support the tourist wave to Cyprus, between June and September 2020, in cooperation with Airlines and Tour Operators, as well as actions to enhance the attraction of tourists during the period October 2020 – March 2021.

Support for Culture

  • For approved activities in the Cultural Services program that will take place until the first quarter of 2021, the first instalment will now be paid, while for approved activities and events that will be cancelled, the costs already incurred will be covered.

  • Support for collective bodies – regardless of operation – by continuing to finance their operating costs in order to maintain their sustainability and ensure their continuity so that they can offer cultural programmes to the public afterwards. In particular, an amount of € 1,045 million will be allocated for the four Academies of Letters and Arts in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos, to the two Dance Academies in Nicosia and Limassol and at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol.

  • Support to those who have incurred costs that are not recoverable in order to participate in events and activities in Cyprus and elsewhere, which will not be made (air tickets, purchase of services for technical support, organization costs, etc.). On the basis of justified applications, the possibility of a subscription with a payment of a percentage of the costs will be decided.

  • Similarly, requests for damages arising in filming or preparation for filming in the period March-June 2020, which have been suspended and a contribution to a certain amount will be sought by the Ministry.

Support for Shipping

Farmers' Support

  • Full compensation for farmers, before Easter, for damage suffered by their crops during the previous period due to extreme weather. Although the compensation far exceeds the average compensation of the last 20 years as well as the initial estimates, it was decided that the full amount will be paid. 6000 applicants at a cost of 11,200,000. For more information: tel. 22408516 email:

  • Granting a free amount of water to farmers equal to 20% of the quantity consumed in the four months of March-June 2020 and facilitating the repayment of water tariffs for the same period. 22609400, email:

Support plan for professional fishermen

  • It concerns all professional coastal fishermen (Licence categories A and B), as well as owners of vessels holding a multi-power fishing licence for vessels exceeding 12 metres. The beneficiaries of the Plan are those professional fishermen holding a fishing licence for the year 2020 and who have carried out fishing activities at sea for at least 120 days, in total, in the years 2018 and 2019. The budget of the Project amounts to €750,000, and a request will be made for co-financing from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Automatic renewal of foreign stay and work

  • Renewals of existing approvals for the employment of foreigners will be made automatically with the validity of one (1) year and the relevant approvals will be sent to employers. Therefore, no applications need to be submitted. It is understood that the renewals of approvals will concern foreigners already employed in business on an annual basis.

Extension of validity for professional driver licenses

  • The extension of the validity of any certificate expiring after 13/3/2020 has been announced and needs to be renewed so that it is deemed valid until the smooth operation of the services in the Department of Road Transport. Such certificates are:

o Vehicle suitability certificates inspected by the state motor vehicle control centres i.e. Lorries, Buses and other heavy vehicles,

o Professional Driver Licenses,

Emergency financial assistance to animal welfare organisations

  • Up to 30 animal welfare organizations are benefited. Cost: €50,000. For more information: tel.22805200, email:


5.1 Measures announced by Supreme Court of Cyprus

Postponement of Judiciary operation

the Supreme Court of Cyprus brought the operation of the Courts of Cyprus in all instances to a standstill. Namely the operation is suspended until 30/04/2020 or until further notice, except for extremely urgent matters as these are outlined in the relevant regulations or where prior leave of the Court is obtained either for the filing or the hearing of a matter within the said period.


6.1 Modern Technologies

Exploitation of Modern Technologies

As part of the effort to develop and exploit digital tools for the management of the unprecedented crisis currently underway by Cyprus, the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy has promoted and processes a series of technological proposals with proposed solutions and tools that concern either the immediate treatment of the pandemic or the support and information of citizens on issues related to the wider range of everyday life and work.

  1. Support and management of Information for tackling the Pandemic

  2. Support for measures relating to the management of requests for exceptional movements of citizens

  3. Support the online service of Citizens for their dealings with the public service and support the smooth operation of the public service through electronic tools.

  4. Strengthening the information/service of the Citizen on all matters relating to Covid 19

Support Tools for managing information on suspected and confirmed cases

Platform for electronic recording and management of suspected and confirmed cases - COVID 19

  • The COVID 19 Platform, was created by the Centre of Excellence KOIOS, in order to contribute to the difficult work of the Ministry of Health to address the pandemic of Coronavirus and to replace the initial printed process of collecting petitions.

Application for self-recording of citizens' movements through the global GPS system GPS)

  • The technological solution aims to facilitate the tracing of the movements of suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus by exploiting geographical location data. In particular, the citizen has the choice and ability to self-record his movements, on his mobile phone device, for a period of 14 days through an application that he will install.

  • The proposed solution fully respects the privacy and personal data of the citizen, as the geographical data to be recorded will remain on the user's mobile phone. The ownership and accessibility of the data shall remain exclusively to the user, who has the option to make the information available to the competent departments or epidemiologists of the State, if necessary and with his consent.

Video conferencing

  • By amending existing legislation, teleconferences are a legitimate means of deciding administrative bodies, including of the Cabinet of Ministers. This enables the boards of organisations to continue their duties.

Management system for exceptional movements

Text Message Service (SMS) 8998

  • The technological solution aims at managing requests for exceptional movement of citizens, which is allowed once a day for one of the 8 categories announced, through a system of receiving requests and information for the relevant approval or rejection by sending a text message (SMS).

Call Center Function 800 12012 and 22 263030

  • In order to facilitate citizens who are unable to be served via the sms service at 8998 for exceptional travel purposes, the Deputy Ministry for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy promoted the operation of a call centre through an automated IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, which facilitates the exceptional travel permit only in specific cases defined.

Platform for the management of exceptional travel authorisation for construction sites - Ministry of Transport

  • In order to better manage the requests received by the Ministry of Transport for the movement of workers on construction sites and to speed up the approval and monitoring process, an electronic platform has been created through which requests are submitted electronically.

Electronic Transaction Al Sequention with the Public Service - Support for the operation of the Public Service

Electronic System for the submission and management of applications for support measures announced by the Ministry of Labour

  • Taking into account the support measures announced by the government, which are promoted by the departments of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, the needs were recorded and the electronic tools and electronic applications were designed, which will be used for the electronic submission of requests.

Teleworking of public sector employees - Teleconferences

  • In order to ensure the smooth operation of the public service and to serve the citizens effectively, the Ministry of Information Technology Services has promoted technological solutions to support the tele-work of public sector employees, so that the duties of civil servants can be carried out remotely, always taking into account the security of computer systems.

Information/ Service of Citizens

Solidarity Platform - www. DigitalSolidarity. gov. cy

  • In order to highlight and exploit the solidarity initiatives promoted by various institutions and businesses to address the situation, the Deputy Ministru for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy has created the platform www.. DigitalSolidarity. gov. cy,which aims at the direct provision of digital services and tools to citizens and businesses either free of charge or at a lower cost, covering daily needs as formulated by the restrictive measures to address and limit the spread of COVID 19 in Cyprus.

Hack the Crisis Hackathon

  • Inspired Hack the Crisis Hackathon by the example of Estonia and other countries that followed the organisation of Hack the Crisis Hackathon – The Deputy Minster promoted a Digital Hackathon organised by Hack {cyprus} in collaboration with RISE Centre of Excellence.

  • Within the framework of the online Hackathon,more than 180 people from 13 different time zones (designers, developers, professionals and entrepreneurs) participated and joined forces to create innovative solutions for the local community in an effort to serve various needs at a time of global crisis.

6.2 School Education Support

Distance School Education

  • The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth (MOEC) has developed and implements a scheme of distance education (teaching) and pedagogical support, at all levels of education.

Program licenses

  • The licenses of the software program for which fixed rights are paid by the state have been activated. In this way there is now the technical possibility of distance teaching and/or other communication with all students in all public schools. In total, the student population of approximately 97,000 pupils and students has now been linked to the system of distance education and pedagogical support.

Free Right to Use Software

  • By integrating students and teachers into the communication system through the approved program (MS TEAMS) and the use of their codes, they all acquire the free right to use the relevant set of software programs (Office 365 Pro Plus), which are necessary for working in an electronic environment.

Where it is applied - Teacher Training

  • In addition, a large-scale rapid distance training/information for teachers on the use of distance e-teaching is under way, while relevant material is also being prepared and posted.

Provision of free Computer Services

  • At the initiative of the Ministry, donations from private organizations have been secured for 3,000 electronic devices for students who stated that they did not have the necessary equipment, which were supplemented by another 3000 devices secured from their own resources and through consultation with the School Ephorate. All the needs recorded in Secondary Education were covered. A process is under way to meet device needs in both the 5th and 6th grade of Primary School (about 1200 devices).

Universal student access to the Internet

  • Universal access for all children to the Internet is ensured. The needs recorded are met by installing an Internet connection in approximately 1800 households. For this purpose, a purchase using MOEC resources was combined with an offer from telecommunications companies.

More Information

  • There is a hotline 22800800, from where they can obtain information and have any other support for the parents/guardians concerned for the distance e-learning project.

  • Moreover, asynchronous distance pedagogical support services and information of parents/guardians are offered by the Ministry and schools through the posting of the relevant digital material on school websites and on the Ministry's website.

  • The website is generally a useful guide both for distance learning and the use of MS TEAMS (Office365) and for asynchronous education, by finding other pedagogical material (video films, other websites, and so on).

6.3 Postal Services Support

1. Extension of the small parcel distribution by the Post Distributors, so that simple packages are delivered, regardless of size (excluding apartment buildings).

2. Home delivery of packages which do not require customs control, in Nicosia and Limassol.

3. Configure Parcel 24 service software to place on 10 existing systems, items containing merchandise, regardless of whether the recipient is a subscriber or not, provided that the item writes the recipient's mobile phone number.

4. Provision of Citizens Center (KΕ.PO) services by call appointment through the call center at 80002000 (free calls), using a dedicated online platform.

5. The available time for the receipt of incoming postal items has been extended before they are returned as unclaimed to senders, at least until the expiry of the restrictive measures, so that they do not have to come to our offices if something is not urgent.

6.4 Additional Citizens' Support

Suspension of an additional contribution to the General Healthcare System (GHS)

  • Decision not to pay the increased contribution to the GHS for a period of three months.

  • Where businesses/employers have applied the reduced rates in March 2020, then in such cases only, the period of application of the reduced rates shall be 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.

The contribution rates to the GHS are as follows.

Reduction of electricity price

  • Reduction of the charge price of electricity consumption by 10%, for a period of 3 months.

Suspension of Evictions

  • Any process for the recovery of possession, initiated after 1 March, at any stage, shall be suspended until 31 May 2020 and no decision or order for the recovery of possession shall be issued by the Court until 31 May 2020. The arrangement does not provide for a suspension of payment of the rent, which may be agreed voluntarily between the renter and the landlord.

Emergency aid to stranded and resettled

  • Plan for emergency financial assistance, taking into account the specific conditions and difficulties faced by stranded farmers, in the exercise of their activities. The plan envisions subsidies on the basis of the area of grains, fodder plants and citrus, as well as on the basis of the number of productive animals and hives.

  • Plan for the grant of exceptional financial assistance to stranded young or resettled farmers, as well as to stranded fishermen and agricultural craftsmen.

  • Sending humanitarian aid (food and medicine) to stranded and resettled in Maronite villages and Karpasia, in the light of the restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Extension of vehicle suitability certificates

  • It was announced that there will be an extension of the validity of any certificate expiring after 13/3/2020 which needs to be renewed so that this is considered valid until the service is restored to the Department of Road Transport. Such certificates are:

o Vehicle suitability certificates inspected by state motor vehicle control centres

o Driving licences (e.g. driving licences for elderly people expiring every three years),

o Road Licenses, etc.,

Suspension of divestments

  • Cancellation of auctions by the Cyprus Property Management Company (KEDIPES) scheduled until 30 June 2020, suspension of opening of auction sourcing procedure until 30 June 2020, suspension of property recovery after the auction process until 30 June 2020, suspension of termination of credit facilities until 30 June 2020 and extension of the deadline for the implementation of agreed restructuring or redemption solutions until 30 June 2020 without interest.

  • Suspension by the Banking Institutions until 18 June 2020 of any divestment process.

Extension of the production of "Estia" Scheme

  • Extension for 3 months of the obligation to provide the necessary supporting documents from interested parties who have already applied for inclusion in the "Estia Scheme".