The health ministry on Tuesday issued updated instructions regarding Covid-19 positive cases and their contacts.
Managing positive cases
Any person who tests positive with a rapid or PCR test must self-isolate immediately and inform their personal doctor, their close contacts, employer, school, army camp etc.
They can end their self-isolation only when the number of days specified by the protocol have passed and after receiving an SMS informing them that they are free to do so.
Individuals who have tested positive are prohibited from using any mass transport. Positive cases who have scheduled a trip are prohibited from travelling until they have been officially cleared to do so by their personal doctor or the competent unit of the health ministry.
There is provision for citizens or tourists staying at hotels or individuals who cannot self-isolate at their home for free state quarantine and their transfer by a transportation means arranged by the ministry. If they do not wish to take up the option of state quarantine, they can choose to rent, at their own expense, private accommodation and be taken there by private vehicle for the self-isolation period, after consulting the epidemiological surveillance and infectious diseases unit, but under no circumstances can they remain at a hotel.
Individuals with a positive result will receive an SMS with instructions regarding self-isolation for confirmed cases on their mobile phone.
On the same SMS, the positive case will receive access codes and link to confirm their data, declare their contacts and the personal doctor so that the doctor can monitor and discharge them.
The social and family contacts of the positive case are declared immediately through the electronic platform. They will receive instructions to self-isolate and appointments for Covid tests.
The instructions sent to the positive case also include a table where the positive case can state additional close contacts which they can send by email to [email protected].
The personal doctor is responsible for monitoring the health of patients/beneficiaries and discharging confirmed cases in line with the protocol, no earlier than 10 days from the diagnosis. Individuals who do not have a personal doctor are discharged by the epidemiological surveillance and infectious diseases unit. Sick leave is given by the personal doctor.
For general information, positive cases can telephone 1474 (Monday to Sunday 08:00-20:00. To report a need to be transported to a hospital they can call 1420 on a 24-hour basis.
Should someone test positive to Covid and not receive a text message with instructions within 24 hours they should contact the place which did the test and confirm the case was reported and that the contact details are correct.
If the case is not reported to the health ministry, the individual will not receive the instructions, and the individual will not receive the required documentation (eg SafePass, EU Digital Covid Certificate).
For issues relating to being discharged, positive cases can contact the team by email on [email protected] or by telephone on 22 605306.
Positive cases who have completed their vaccination or have recovered before the six months are up should follow the procedure and are not exempted from self-isolation.
Managing close contacts
Close contacts are determined under specific criteria based on:
An individual who lives with a confirmed case
An individual who had direct physical contact with a confirmed case (eg handshake)
An individual who had unprotected contact with infected secretions of a confirmed case (eg saliva).
An individual who came into contact with a confirmed case at a distance of less than two metres and for longer than 15 minutes.
An individual who found themselves an indoor space (eg classroom, cinema, hospital waiting area etc. with a confirmed case for more than 15 minutes and at a distance under two metres.
A co-traveller in an airplane.
Once the positive case is notified, they are asked to state their contacts two days prior to symptoms appearing or two days before the test.
Close contacts undergo a free PCR test after arranging an appointment at the public health medical centres which is arranged as soon as possible and at the same time receive instructions as regards their close contacts by text message to self-isolate. Close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days from the last day of their contact with the confirmed case (contact day is day zero).
Close contacts can be discharged earlier only with a negative PCR on the seventh day from any approved lab at their own expense.
The discharge on the seventh day with a negative PCR applies only to close contacts and not positive cases.
Close contacts are not discharged by their personal doctors but on their own, once the required number of days has passed. Individuals who were declared as close contacts are allowed a certificate of special leave on the grounds of public health that they can present to their employer to be compensated by the social insurance department once they apply.
Close contacts cannot go to rapid testing site as there is a risk of spreading the virus to others there.
The following are exempted from the obligation to self-isolate:
- Those who tested positive within 180 days or those who have completed their vaccination with any approved vaccine by the Republic of Cyprus. In the case of single jab vaccines, 14 days must have passed.
For issues relating to tracing, instructions as regards declaring close contacts, who is considered a close contact and when self-isolation ends, contact telephone 22 771923, 22 514264, 22 514258, 22 514259 or email [email protected] (Monday to Sunday 08:00-00:00).
For instructions to complete the electronic form once a positive case has received a link and access codes contact telephones 22 514241, 22 514242, 22 514243, 22 514244 and 22 514248 (Monday to Sunday 08:00-00:00).
Employers’ obligations can be found on https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/pdf/erg20.pdf and they can contact the health services for clarifications.
To report violations concerning self-isolation of confirmed cases or close contacts, members of the public can contact telephones 1460, 22 606803, 22 606789.
For more information on the decrees and protocols visit www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/