The government has announced the ways and documents needed to obtain authorisation for movement by exception, amid a COVID-19 lockdown that started in Cyprus from Sunday and will last until the end of January.
As of 05:00 a.m. (local time) on Sunday, 10 January 2021, the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy puts at the disposal of citizens two methods to obtain authorisation for movement by exception. The first is by sending SMS to 8998, free of charge with the following structure:
X (number corresponding to the reason of movement) space Number of Identification Document space Home Postcode
Χ stands for the number from 1 to 8 corresponding to the reason of movement. The Number of Identification Document contains up to 3 letters and up to 10 characters, numbers and letters in total. For Cypriot citizens, this is the number of their Cypriot identity card. European citizens and third-country nationals may register their Alien Registration Number (ARC) of their registration certificate or residence permit. European citizens and third-country nationals who do not hold an ARC, may use the number of another identification document, such as foreign passport or identity card number, or diplomatic passport number. The Home Postcode consists of 4 numbers.
There will be 4 kind of replies to the SMS, approval, rejection due to the structure of the message, rejection for exceeding the maximum number of movements allowed and rejection for non-compliance with the curfew hours.
It is noted that after sending the SMS, a reply shall be received and the movement shall be valid for a reasonable period of time depending on the category of movement for which approval has been granted. Citizens must carry their identity card or passport or other document for identification purposes in case of control by the competent authorities.
The second method is a call centre for those connected with a foreign mobile telephony provider, as well as to facilitate those who are not able – for any reason whatsoever – to send a SMS to 8998. For Cypriot phone numbers the number is 80012012 and for foreign numbers +357 22 285777.
The above service shall be available to citizens from 05:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m., both in Greek and English. The operator shall only serve mobile phone calls. It is noted that the citizens shall be personally responsible for the correctness of the details stated to the operator and shall be held liable for false statement. Movement during curfew hours is permitted for going to and coming back from work, with the presentation of Form A, filled in and signed by the employer and for imperative urgency, i.e. going to a medical centre or hospital or pharmacy or veterinarian for medical emergencies or to provide urgent assistance to people who are unable to take care of themselves or who must protect themselves. The movement by exception shall be permitted twice a day. Reasons of movement are the following: 1. Going to a pharmacy, visiting a physician or for blood donation or laboratory testing for Covid-19 or for vaccination at the vaccination centres; 2. Going to a shop for essential goods/services, including take away; 3. Going to the bank for transactions not available online; 4. Strictly necessary visits to public services or services of the wider public sector and local authorities; 5. Helping people who cannot take care of themselves or people who must protect themselves or who are in self-isolation and/or in places of compulsory isolation (quarantine); 6. Physical activity or individual sports practiced in areas were access is permitted; 7. Going to a ceremony (e.g. funeral, wedding, christening) of first and second degree relatives not exceeding 10 people or for individual prayer; 8. Any other reason that may be justified under the lockdown measures (by presenting the necessary proof for each case).
Point 8 above also include the following: – movement of divorced or separated parents, which is necessary for the uninterrupted communication between parents and children; – going for specialised therapies for people with disabilities or chronic diseases, together with their carer; – driving a soldier from and to his army camp; -going to and coming back from Larnaca and Paphos Airports for the transport of persons upon presentation of proof (ticket) showing the day and/or time of arrival/departure; – movement of farmers and livestock farmers, provided that they produce the CAPO form of hectare or animal subsidy or, in case this is not available, a relevant certificate by the District Agricultural Office; – going to and coming back from animal shelters to take care or feed stray animals, provided that the person has a certificate validated by a recognised animal welfare organisation and the relevant notification to the Veterinary Services. People over 65 may use Form B for their movements by exception.
It is clarified that employees going to and coming back from work do not need to send SMS, but they should present Form A signed by the employer. Moreover, no SMS is needed for the movement of people with disabilities and persons falling within the spectrum of autism, together with their carers, transport of minor children from and to kindergartens, nurseries, day-care centres, preprimary schools and special education, for walking a domestic animal (within a radius of 500 m from their residence), provided that they do not exceed two persons, except for minor children accompanied by their parents.
The website www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus provides comprehensive information on how to obtain authorisation for movement in exceptional cases.