COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel corona virus "SARS-CoV-2" was first identified in China in December of 2019. Since then COVID-19 has spread widely across the globe, forcing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it as pandemic on the 11th of March 2020.
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was officially identified in Cyprus on the 9th of March 2020, causing grave concern and wreaking havoc on every-day life on the island, as the country came face to face with an unprecedented life threatening and changing reality. Since then, the Cyprus government has taken a series of drastic measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease, which includes compulsory quarantine for people who travelled to high risk countries, closing down schools and certain businesses, as well as banning all flights from abroad.
Aware of the potential impact on businesses and the fragile economy of the country, which is almost entirely dependent on its services and tourism sectors, the government issued a number of instructions and guidelines and introduced a number of social measures aimed at shielding local businesses and employees in these uncertain times,1 . The Cyprus Employers and Industrialist Federation (OEB) has also issued helpful guidance for businesses and employees based on the government's decisions, in the form of circulars currently available on its website2 .
Due to the novel and emergency character of these measures, many employers and employees are still struggling to cope with, and understand their respective rights and obligations, which result from these measures.
The purpose of this Guide is to assist employers to understand their obligations and the measures they need to implement to comply with their legal obligations and the instructions issued by the Cyprus government in response to the COV-19 pandemic.
Employers in Cyprus are under a general statutory obligation to ensure the safety, health and prosperity at work of all their employees. This obligation includes, inter alia, the provision by the employer of such information, directions, training and supervision to ensure the safety and health of their employees.
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus has issued a number of instructions as well as informative leaflets and posters about the symptoms of COVID-19, with recommendations on preventive measures that need to be followed by every person in order to ensure the safety of themselves and of others around them3 .
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