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Coronavirus:  SafePass tweak to stop quarantine busters

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Confirmed Covid cases will not be able to use their SafePass to enter shops and restaurants before their self-isolation period is complete, deputy minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriacos Kokkinos said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Alpha, the deputy minister said that the CovPass database, which holds SafePass data, will connect to the Health Ministry’s database on Wednesday.

Up until now, the systems were not linked, meaning that a valid SafePass would still work, even if the holder had tested positive – potentially enabling many active cases to break their self-isolation early and visit restaurants and shops.

“If someone was fully vaccinated then their EUDCC certificate would flash green when scanned, even if they’d tested positive, which led to a lot of people abusing this loophole,” Kokkinos said.

He added that the issue was not as noticeable when cases were in the hundreds, “but at 3,000 a day we were obliged to put an end to it”.

The deputy ministry had examined several approaches over the past week, before opting for the one detailed by Kokkinos, which will go into force on Wednesday.

After the changes, active Covid cases will not be able to issue a new SafePass, and their existing one will flash red if scanned.

Asked whether the person checking will know whether the SafePass user is positive, Kokkinos said that to protect personal data, the app will only flash red without giving a specific reason.

The deputy ministry will issue an official announcement on Wednesday answering all questions, he concluded.

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