07.07.2020 18:19 h

Cyprus allows fans back into stadiums

Cyprus said Tuesday that fans can attend sports events for the first time since coronavirus officially reached its shores in March, after having largely contained the disease.

The numbers of new confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 have been in the low single digits for several weeks.

The island's internationally-recognised government has reported 1,005 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths, while four more deaths amid 113 cases have been declared in a breakaway statelet in the north.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou announced the return of spectators for professional sports both indoors and outdoors, including football, basketball, athletics, swimming and horse racing.

Football leagues in other European Union countries have resumed in empty stadiums.

The Cypriot health ministry is to issue social distancing guidelines and hygiene protocols for crowds at sports events.

The football league on the island was suspended in March as part of a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The new season is scheduled to kick off on August 21.

The Mediterranean holiday island is marketing itself as a relatively safe destination in terms of coronavirus.

It has since June allowed tourists from 22 countries -- including Germany, Greece and Austria -- entry without a COVID-19 health certificate.