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Coronavirus: Clarifications on new SafePass measures

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Photo: Christos Theodorides

A SafePass will be required from everyone aged 12 and over at all premises where more than 10 people including staff can congregate, the health ministry said on Friday.

In a Q&A clarifying cabinet’s decision to extend and tighten SafePass rules, the ministry said that the rule applies to all premises, inside or outdoors, where distancing rules and health protocols permit more than 10 people to congregate. This includes food and drink shops and hospitality venues.

Premises must make sure to put up signs outside their business stating the number of people allowed into the premise and whether a SafePass is required or not.

A SafePass is either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the past 180 days or a 72 hour negative PCR or rapid antigen test.

For example, no SafePass is required at a bakery or mini-market that based on its square metres is allowed only six customers at any given time and has four employees. But a SafePass is required in a shop that allows seven clients and had four employees.

Beaches, parks, linear parks, squares, nature trails and picnic sites are excluded from the SafePass requirement.

Everyone aged 12 and over must have a SafePass to enter a private or public (Okypy) hospital. This applies to visitors and outpatients. Employees are also required to have a SafePass under the decree.

In the case of care home and other closed facilities catering for the old and vulnerable groups, rapid antigen tests do not qualify. In these cases, everyone aged 12 and over must have a vaccination certificate, a certificate of having recovered from Covid in the past 180 days or a negative PCR test of 72 hours. This applies to visitors and employees. Additional guidelines and protocols of the deputy ministry for welfare and health ministry must also be adhered to.

Non-permanent residents who enter the Republic from legal ports of entry can present their CyprusFlight Pass to serve as their SafePass for the first seven days. After the first seven days and for as long as they are in the Republic they must carry out a PCR or rapid antigen test to secure a SafePass. Holders of vaccination cards or of certificates of Covid recovery in the past 180 days are exempted from this obligation.

From Monday, children aged 12 to 15 will be allowed to get vaccinated against the coronavirus with a mRNA vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech και Moderna), at the recommendation of the Pediatrics Association and the consultative scientific committee on the coronavirus.

Vaccinations of youngsters aged 12 to 17 requires the signed consent both parents/legal guardians, in line with health ministry procedures

Saint day’s feasts (paniyiria) are allowed only next to churches provided everyone, including those working there, have a SafePass. Organisers must secure a permit from the health services by email to [email protected]

Although free rapid tests are being scrapped for the general population, the following categories qualify for the programme offered free of charge by the health ministry, on presentation of ID:

  • Minors aged up to 17. Children aged 12 to 17 who do not have their parents’ approval for a vaccination can get free rapid tests.
  • People aged 18 and over who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds, on presentation of the relevant certificate and once their request has been examined by the Cyprus Medical Association and the health ministry and approval has been given.
  • Pregnant women who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, on presentation of a medical certificate from their gynecologists. From August 1 to 7, pregnant women can present a confirmation from their gynecologist that vaccination is not recommended. From August 8 they must follow the procedure of securing approval from the Cyprus Medical Association and health ministry.
  • People who have received the first dose of the vaccine for the three weeks that they are required to do the test to secure a SafePass. A vaccination card must be presented for confirmation.
  • People who have completed their vaccination but wish to do the test in order to monitor their health or for other reasons. They must present their vaccination card.
  • People who have a certificate of recovery from Covid in the last 180 days but wish to do the test in order to monitor their health or for other reasons. They must present their recovery certificate.

In order to monitor the epidemiological situation, the ministry said it will continue its checks in closed facilities, care comes and other facilities which house high risk or vulnerable people.

 

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