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Coronavirus: Ministry clarifies groups exempted from CovScan rule

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The health ministry on Wednesday announced that some groups will be exempt from the new rule requiring EUDCC certificates to be digitally scanned through the CovScan app when its use becomes compulsory on Monday, November 22.

The ministry reminded in a statement that businesses that can host over 10 people and thus require a SafePass, will need to ensure they have access to the CovScan app by November 22.

Electronic scanning of EUDCC certificates using CovScan got off to an erratic start when it was launched on a trial basis ten days ago, with many businesses complaining that it was time-consuming and sporadic in verifying the QR codes. Some technical adjustments were made by the deputy ministry of research, with a retail business representative telling CyBC that problems have since been overcome and the app was working without problems.

The app is available on Google Play and can work on Android devices. It is not available for Apple devices for the time being.

The ministry clarified that while businesses will need to have the CovScan app, the public will be able to present their EUDCC certificate either digitally through a smartphone, or in printed form, as long as their QR code is visible.

A QR code for a vaccination certificate or a certificate issued after someone has recovered from the virus is generated only once.

However, for Covid test certificates, a new QR code is generated with every test.

At this stage, some groups of people will be exempt from having to get their SafePass digitally scanned.

Those exempted are people aged 65 and over, those aged 18 and under, Turkish Cypriots who were vaccinated in areas not controlled by the government, tourists who were vaccinated in countries outside the EU, the EEA and Switzerland and legal residents of Cyprus who were vaccinated in countries outside the EU, the EEA and Switzerland.

It was emphasised that the above groups will still be subject to SafePass checks but will be able to present other forms of proof that they fulfil the requirements.

This can either be their vaccination card, a text message or printout proving they have recovered from the virus, or a text message/printout showing a negative PCR or rapid test.

Checks through the application are carried out by scanning the QR code that appears on the bearer’s certificate and presents the validity test results.

If it is green, the certificate is valid and means that the holder has completed their vaccination or has recovered from Covid-19. Yellow or Orange means the certificate is valid and the holder has undergone PCR or rapid test with a negative result.

Red means the certificate is invalid.

Businesses that do not check customers for a SafePass face hefty fines.

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