President Nicos Anastasiades said a return to strict measures is not currently on the cards but gave an unambiguous message to get vaccinated.
The president said any incentives for the vaccinated and disincentives for those who are unvaccinated have not yet been decided, adding that any new measures are to be announced following a cabinet meeting.
He spoke to the media on Monday night following an extraordinary meeting with the government’s coronavirus advisory team. The move was spurred by a continuous rise in cases, emphasised by Monday’s 314 cases – the highest figure in weeks.
Asked whether there have been considerations to force the unvaccinated to wear special bracelets, the president replied that: “We will think about it.”
“Everyone must realise that vaccination is a patriotic duty… It is not bold to be unvaccinated,” Anastasiades said. “It cannot be that 70 per cent of those under the age of 40 are unvaccinated.”
Local media had earlier reported on Monday night that outgoing Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou was to propose to the meeting that the SafePass be required for the outdoor areas of cafes, bars and restaurants.
It is understood that his proposal, should it be enforced, would require the SafePass for outdoor social gatherings at places such as clubs and so on. Currently, the SafePass requirement is limited to most indoor activities.
A valid SafePass has previously been defined as:
- A vaccination card (given at vaccination centres) certifying the person received at least one dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine three weeks prior, OR
- Proof the person contracted the virus in the last six months in the form of a text message verifying their discharge or recovery, OR
- A negative PCR or rapid test taken up to 72 hours prior. This can either be a text message or the slip of paper given at a testing site. The ministry emphasised that self-tests or antibody tests are not valid.