Thousands of people demonstrate in Cyprus against sanitary restrictions | International

Thousands of people opposed to health restrictions in Cyprus demonstrated outside the presidential palace on Sunday and some later attacked the headquarters of a television station and burned cars, police said.

The police press service told AFP that some 5,000 people gathered in front of the presidential palace in Nicosia, the capital of the Mediterranean island.

Some 2,500 protesters then headed to the Sigma TV headquarters, setting at least one vehicle on fire and damaging the building, it added, without immediately reporting any arrests or injuries.

“A cowardly attack took place Sunday night in front of our headquarters” in Nicosia, Sigma TV said, explaining that the assailants had thrown firecrackers and damaged staff cars.

Cypriot President Nico Anasasiades spoke of “setback for democracy” and said in a statement that the government would not “give in to threats and blackmail.”

The channel, considered opposed to anti-vaccines, has been the target of previous protests against sanitary restrictions in the country.

Cyprus is facing a fourth wave of coronavirus infections due to the spread of the Delta variant.

For the first time, the southern part of the divided island, with a population of less than 900,000, recorded more than a thousand cases in one day last week.

On Sunday, 858 new cases were registered, including one death, bringing the total of cases to 91,196 cases and deaths to 385.

In order to promote the vaccination of young people, from Tuesday until at least July 31, the authorities will require a health pass (obtained three weeks after the first dose of the vaccine or after having recovered from covid-19) or a PCR or antigen test of less than 72 hours to enter any gathering place of more than 20 people, outdoors or indoors, except beaches and pharmacies.

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More than 70% of the target population has received a first dose and 60% both.

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