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Coronavirus: some shopkeepers worry SafePass will deter potential customers

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Ledra Street on Monday (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

A portion of Cyprus’ shopkeepers disagree with the implementation of the ‘SafePass’ calling the measure ‘excessive’.

“We believe that the measure will deter people from visiting restaurants, cafes and other hospitality sector venues,” the head of Larnaca-Famagusta branch of the union of small shopkeepers, Povek, Kyriacos Ambizas told the Cyprus News Agency.

Povek does not agree with the implementation of ‘SafePass’ which requires a negative PCR or rapid test carried out within 72 hours by unvaccinated people, unless they have contracted and recovered from the virus within the last six months.

The requirement of a negative coronavirus test to visit cafes and restaurants by unvaccinated people “will only cause difficulties in the smooth operation of the sector and was described as ‘excessive’ by the head of the union.

“We do not see the usefulness of conducting a rapid test every 72 hours, since all sectors of the local economy operate normally, with employees taking the specific test weekly,” it was added.

Some business owners demand dynamic measures to be taken against the government’s decision.

“Many of our members have protested against this measure, which they consider to be wrong,” he added.

“We believe that this works against the recreation centres and the hospitality sector,” Ambizas said.

The union expressed the hope that “logic will prevail” amidst complaints from the public, and the measure will be reassessed.

“Since there are about 350,000 people who have been vaccinated and most of the employees are undergoing rapid tests to go to work, we do not see any reason for this measure to apply,” Ambizas added.

Meanwhile, inconvenience is caused at rapid testing sites as a large number of people wish to get tested, with the country seeing a record of 109,846 tests on Sunday. Waiting time surpassed 45 minutes on Monday with the health ministry issuing a warning over certain busy testing sites.

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