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Coronavirus: police will adapt procedures to new measures

Police will carry out coronavirus related checks where and when necessary, adapting their procedures according to the new measures.

The ‘coronapass’ is expected to be introduced with the lifting of the two-week lockdown on May 10. The pass will be required for people to visit cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, gyms, theatres and places of worship. Such a pass entails either having a negative Covid test carried out within the last 72 hours or having received at least one dose of the vaccine three weeks prior or having contracted the virus in the past six months.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou told CNA on Friday that the relevant decree has not yet been published but that police will act as instructed.

He clarified however that only the police are permitted to carry out checks at churches, casinos, weddings and baptisms.

He also said that the tourism ministry – as well as the police – have the authority to check restaurants, tavernas, pubs, cafes, pubs and so on.

Officials from other departments can also carry out checks, as in the case of the Cyprus Sports Organisation which can inspect places such as gyms, while municipalities can inspect places such as theatres and cinemas.

The labour ministry will also be authorised to carry out coronavirus checks, namely at shops and department stores.

Hotels and other such areas will also be monitored by the tourism ministry.

Deputy government spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said on Friday said the ‘coronapass’ to move around was the next step to “returning to our daily lives before the pandemic” and was a roadmap to freedom.

“To be precise, the term that best describes the new measure is ‘safepass’ and this is because it is the passport that will lead us safely to the next steps of the roadmap to our complete freedom,” he said. “We gain our freedom with careful steps”.

Sentonas said the safepass measure would be temporarily implemented and constantly under evaluation. “Our goal is to remove the safepass as soon as possible,” he added.

Critics have already hit out at the “covid passport” as being unconstitutional, but Sentonas argued that it will be implemented in a constitutional manner and with respect towards personal data protection.

While Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and other countries have already implemented such passes – or are considering them – it has proven highly controversial.

Six states in the US have so far banned the implementation of such passports, including Texas, Florida and Montana; with more expected to follow suit.

Vaccine passports typically fall into three categories: those required for international travel, a one-time proof such as those used in some schools and the most controversial – such as the ‘safepass’ – is the transactional pass; required for entrance into private establishments.

 

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