May 2020: End of quarantine restrictions, heading back out to nature in Cyprus….

In Cyprus, some freedom now, after staying safe at home…

May 21st, 2020 was quite a landmark day in this strange and apocalyptic year.

In Cyprus, like many other countries, we have been quarantined in our homes under curfew and government restrictions that have only allowed one exit per day for one of 8 reasons.

It was managed by sending a text to obtain approval, the phone had to be carried plus any passport or registration documents. Police checks were everywhere and anyone found without permission or documents was fined from 300 euro up, depending on the severity of the offense.

On the 12th of May, Phase 1 of the lockdown lift was introduced. That was to allow the population to leave their homes three times a day for up to three hours at a time, as a gradual re-introduction of more population movement…a little test of the infectious waters, so to speak.

Then on 21st May our quarantine restrictions were lifted under Phase 2 of society re-entering the world, where the unseen threat of COVID-19 lurks in your consciousness and the population of the Republic of Cyprus were free to leave their homes.

The nightly curfew was lifted, and we no longer have to send a text to obtain approval to leave our homes for the 8 reasons initially allowed.

I have no criticism of the actions our government took to protect this small island.

New cases have been decreasing recently and today, 23rd May, was the first day we had no new cases, so, in my view, a successful operation and it’s up to us, as the population, to continue to follow the new norms that will dominate our lives for the foreseeable future.

Normally I am out in the hills with my camera a couple of times a week, especially March, April, and May when nature in Cyprus is at its glorious best.

The hills are green, wildflowers are rampantly growing, there is a constant buzz of bees, the dragonflies start to emerge, butterflies are taking wing and the whole island is awash with pollinators and vibrant color.

It’s the time to tramp the hills before the summer heat burns out the foliage, but, like everyone else, we missed it this year.

So when we got to the 12th, after 5 supermarket visits since March and no other exits from home, I had to escape.

The nearest get close-to-nature valley to my home, is the Esouza river valley, with its wealth of dragonflies, butterflies, and flora.

We headed to the water pools at Ayia Varvara, a small village along the Esouza river, which is also a magnet to our local bird watchers, but I missed out on the bird photos, sadly!

I wasn’t disappointed, having only spent time in my garden, to be walking in nature was utter bliss…

Some of the finds in the 3-hour escape…

Bugs and flowers…

Butterflies…

Damselflies…

Dragonflies…

A little disclaimer: Some of my identifications could be incorrect. Dragonflies are hard to identify, I’ve had a year of accompanying a dragonfly recorder and I’m still learning. If any mistakes are spotted, please correct me in the comments…Bug and Flower ID is ongoing, to be updated when I have a positive ID…

7 comments on “May 2020: End of quarantine restrictions, heading back out to nature in Cyprus….

    • Yes, I think our Government followed Greece, who have had good results, as we have had. We were locked down very quickly and it seems to have worked well. It’s a small island and the medical services could not have coped with a major pandemic, so they chose to flatten the curve very fast, so far it’s worked, but they rely on tourism, and are opening up… as the restrictions are lifted we must remember to apply social restrictions to stay safe as we return to normal life…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I.J. Glad you enjoyed the nature walk… Heading up to the hills in the next few days to look for two special butterflies, beautiful views up there, I’ll share that one!

      Liked by 1 person

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