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Coronavirus: venues discuss electronic health IDs for entry

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March 16 has been proposed as a feasible date in which bars, cafes and other hospitality businesses may reopen, possibly along with an electronic health ID being introduced.

According to Nikos Vasiliou, president of the Pancyprian association of entertainment centres (Pasyked), the proposed plan seeks to tackle seemingly endless reopening and closing of businesses in the sector due to the intermittent lockdowns.

“A strong plan is that of the health ID, so that if today you take a rapid test and you get a message with the result – what we’re saying is add a QR code to that, so it will be similar to an electronic health booklet,” Vasiliou told the Cyprus Mail.

“It’s being discussed so that rapid test results will be valid (if positive) for 72 hours and these can be scanned with a person’s phone to enter clubs, cinemas and other establishments.”

It is understood that this could apply for any areas with large social gatherings such as weddings and other events.

A QR code (short for Quick Response code) works like a barcode, as seen in supermarkets, and is able to store a large amount of data.

The proposal has been discussed with the relevant ministries such as the deputy ministry for research and innovation, he added. The electronic health ID would be scanned at the point of entry.

An official at the deputy ministry for research and innovation confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that such discussions have taken place but that further details are not currently available.

The health ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Vasiliou also explained that the epidemiological situation is entirely different to what has been previously observed – saying that reopening of the sector will not lead to high hospitalisation rates.

“By the end of March 20 per cent of the adult population is expected to have been vaccinated and 90 per cent of the vulnerable population – therefore the health systems should not be stressed as has happened in the past,” he said.

Pasyked, according to its website, represents 130 companies that employ 5,000 people with a turnover of €150m – according to an announcement in July 2020.

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