Cypriots will need tests or inoculation to eat out, worship

A woman wearing protective face mask walks outside of a closed cafe amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions government in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Cyprus has unveiled a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week, but will enforce the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from the disease in areas were people gather in numbers, including restaurants and churches. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) © Provided by Associated Press A woman wearing protective face mask walks outside of a closed cafe amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions government in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Cyprus has unveiled a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week, but will enforce the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from the disease in areas were people gather in numbers, including restaurants and churches. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus unveiled on Thursday a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month, including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week.

A woman wearing protective face mask drives her bicycle by closed shops amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions government in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Cyprus has unveiled a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week, but will enforce the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from the disease in areas were people gather in numbers, including restaurants and churches. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) © Provided by Associated Press A woman wearing protective face mask drives her bicycle by closed shops amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions government in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Cyprus has unveiled a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week, but will enforce the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from the disease in areas were people gather in numbers, including restaurants and churches. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

But the island will demand the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from COVID-19 in areas where people gather in numbers — including restaurants and churches — together with mask-wearing and social distancing.

A strict, two-week lockdown has curbed the record-high number of infections, although some health officials had wanted restrictions to be slightly extended.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told a news conference that the primary purpose of the rollback that starts May 10 is to “lift the spirits of the public after months of sacrifices,” without jeopardizing public health by abolishing all restrictions at one go. He said some restrictions will remain in place until at least the end of June, when authorities hope to have 60-65% of the population vaccinated.

A man, left, with a skate and a woman, right, wearing protective face masks pass at an empty road amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions government in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Cyprus has unveiled a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week, but will enforce the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from the disease in areas were people gather in numbers, including restaurants and churches. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias): Virus Outbreak Cyprus © Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Cyprus

As of next week, people will no longer need to secure text message permission to leave home. There will be caps on capacity at bars, restaurants, malls and parks that will be gradually increased from 30% to 50% over the next few weeks. Retail stores, gyms and hair dressing salons will also reopen.

But Ioannou said people will need to display to police either a vaccination card, a health services text message proving convalescence from COVID-19 or a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours prior to an outing at any place where people gather en masse.

A man walks at a main park amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions government in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 6, 2021.  Cyprus has unveiled a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week, but will enforce the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from the disease in areas were people gather in numbers, including restaurants and churches. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias): Virus Outbreak Cyprus © Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Cyprus

Some exceptions will be made, including for going to supermarkets, pharmacies, beaches, parks and outdoor farmers' markets where people will be simply required to wear masks and keep distances.

Ioannou said the measure will be “temporary” and authorities are working on a smartphone application to simplify the procedure.

Authorities said already a third of Cyprus’ population of roughly 875,000 people have received at least one shot as part of a ramped-up vaccination program that’s seen as key to buoying the tourism-reliant country’s chances of attracting more vacationers.

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Cypriots will need tests or inoculation to eat out, worship