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Coronavirus: Grace period for CovScan requirement (updated)

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The introduction of electronic scanning of the SafePass will start on Monday on a voluntary basis, the health ministry said on Friday, to ease businesses into the measure until November 22 when it will be made mandatory.

The health ministry announced that it was now decided that a transitional period will be given before the introduction of mandatory electronic scanning of the SafePass. This starts on Monday and will continue up to November 22 when it will be made mandatory.

It was initially announced that as of Monday, it would be mandatory for all businesses to carry out SafePass checks through the CovScan application. Earlier on Monday a health ministry spokesperson said the adjustment period would end on December 1, while they later announced this would now be on November 22.

Businesses were urged however to gradually start using the CovScan application so that they are ready by November 22.

Both the health ministry and Deputy Minister for Innovation Kyriacos Kokkinos said on Friday that discussion was underway for arrangements for those who do not have a smart phone and people over 65 who cannot present the digital SafePass or the QR code in print form.

Kokkinos said they had suggested to the health minister that this group of people can present their vaccination card instead, but that any special arrangements will be finalised very soon.

In the meantime, some businesses have reacted negatively to the announcement they would have to electronically scan their customers’ SafePass.

Head of small businesses association Povek, Stefanos Koursaris told CyBC that, once again, the state is transferring the responsibility of checks onto them.

On the other hand, secretary of the retailers’ association, Marios Antoniou said the application was very easy to use and that it was important to implement all measures for the common good.

The application, CovScan Cyprus, can be downloaded free of charge on any appliance with Android operating system through Google Play.

Checks through the application are carried out by scanning the QR code that appears on the bearer’s certificate (in printed or electronic form) and presents the following validity test results:

– Green: The certificate is valid and means that the holder has completed his/her vaccination regimen or has recovered from COVID-19.

– Yellow / Orange: The certificate is valid and means that the holder has undergone PCR or rapid test with a negative result.

– Red: The certificate is invalid.

The health ministry stressed that the application was designed in compliance with all the provisions for the protection of personal data and shows only the name and date of birth of the holder and does not store the bearer’s personal data or the history of checks.

 

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