Because of the rapid deterioration of the epidemiological picture - the number of new COVID cases in the past two weeks exceeded three-digit figures, an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers was held with the participation of President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday, July 2, at 7.00 pm.
During the event, additional measures were approved to contain the coronavirus epidemic. After the end of the meeting, they were voiced by the new Cyprus Minister of Health, Michalis Hadjipantelas.
By the way, this time the inhabitants of the island managed to avoid the curfew, however, there were some “surprises”.
Officials have divided the new rules into five categories, which include:
1. Vaccination promoting
This means that:
- vaccinated employees will receive extra vacation pay on vacation from July 15 to August 31, which will be announced in more detail on July 5 by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism;
- soldiers and drafts will receive an additional five-day leave if they are vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated before August 31;
- employees of the public and private sector will be able to legally be absent from the workplace on the day of vaccination, this day will not be considered as a vacation day;
- if the parents / guardians are taking their child for vaccination (a copy of the child's vaccination card will be required as proof), they will also be able to legally be absent from the workplace on the day of vaccination, and this day won't be considered as a vacation day;
2. Active vaccination of 18 to 30 y.o. people
The Ministry of Health will negotiate with public and private organizations to find additional measures to stimulate vaccination, especially among 18-30 years old residents. The results of the negotiations will be announced at the next meeting of the Cabinet.
3. New measures for crowded places
In more detail:
- from July 9, SafePass will be required in all open places where more than 20 people gather (bars, clubs, banquets for weddings and christenings, parties), a negative test result will be valid for 72 hours;
- From July 9 to July 20, entrance to football matches, to cinemas, theaters and concerts is allowed only to spectators vaccinated with both doses or only the first dose, if three weeks have passed since the injection, as well as those who have recovered and those who have a negative test result valid for 72 hours. The filling of the stands / halls should not exceed 50% of their capacity;
- From July 20, entrance to football matches, cinemas, theaters and concerts will be allowed only to those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered. The number of visitors of the stands / halls should not exceed 75% of their capacity;
- From August 1, citizens and residents of Cyprus arriving in the country, if they are not vaccinated with at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, will be required to follow all the protocols that apply to foreign passengers. That is, tourists who have not been vaccinated with at least the first dose of the vaccine or who have not recovered from the virus will have to provide a PCR test valid for 72 hours before flying to Cyprus. This measure excludes adolescents aged 12-15 years, as well as adults over 16 who have health problems that prevent vaccination.
4. Information campaign
In the near future, an information campaign will start in Cyprus to promote vaccination.
5. Control at workplaces and institutions
By the way, control over compliance with the measures will be tightened at workplaces and facilities.
And now the most important thing! Free testing for all residents of the island will be canceled from August 1!
An exception will be made only for adolescents aged 12-15 years, as well as adults over 16 who have health problems that prevent vaccination. In other words, if you need to do a test for coronavirus, you will now have to pay for it from your own funds.
As you may know, testing in Cyprus is currently carried out daily free of charge.
The exception is pharmacies where tests can be done for €20. They are also recognized by the country's authorities. The results of express tests are entered into a single database of the testing system of the Ministry of Health.
If the express test gives a positive result, then the pharmacy employees enter the case into the database of the epidemiological team of the Ministry of Health, which oversees work with those infected with coronavirus and is engaged in establishing their close contacts.