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Coronavirus: New clarifications on latest measures

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Photo: Christos Theodorides

The health ministry on Thursday issued more clarifications regarding people’s access to certain types of venues in terms of vaccination or testing status.

Under the new rules, effective December 15, the unvaccinated will be barred from entering premises hosting social events (weddings, baptisms); indoor and outdoor sports grounds, theatres, amphitheatres, cinemas; nightclubs, dance clubs, restaurants, including such spaces within malls and hotels.

Entry to these premises will be permitted only to persons who have received least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, but they must additionally display a negative PCR or rapid test. This applies to persons aged 12 and above.

However, certain exceptions apply: staff working at sports facilities, or persons aged 12 to 17 who train or compete in sports grounds; for all the venues in question, employees who must nevertheless produce a negative PCR or rapid test; children aged 6 to 11, on the condition they hold a SafePass (negative rapid test valid for seven days), while no conditions for entry apply to children under six years old.

For the purposes of entry, also exempt from the requirement for a negative coronavirus result (PCR or rapid test) are persons who completed their vaccination cycle (double-dose or single dose, as the case may be) not more than seven months ago.

The exemption for possessing a negative coronavirus result likewise applies to persons who have received their booster shot. Also exempted from having a negative test are people who have fallen ill with Covid-19 in the past six months.

As of December 18, persons aged 18 and over, and for whom seven months have gone by since their second jab (for a double-dose regimen) or their first jab (for a single-dose regimen) will be eligible for a SafePass but they must also possess a negative PCR test (valid for 72 hours) or negative rapid test (valid for 48 hours). In these cases, rapid tests will be provided free of charge by the health ministry.

To recap: where the SafePass is concerned, persons aged five years and under face no restrictions whatsoever; persons aged 6-11 need a negative coronavirus test result that is valid for seven days, although children aged 6 and attending pre-school are exempt; and persons aged 12 to 17 need a negative coronavirus test result that is valid for 72 hours (either PCR or rapid).

For all other venues/premises, the rules that apply are those indicated in the decrees issued from time by time by the health minister.

For tourists, the provisions of whatever health decree is in force, apply.

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