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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Relaxation of measures for unvaccinated proposed as epidemiological picture ‘looks good’

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The “good picture” of all Covid indicators over the last few days opens the possibility of targeted relaxations of restrictive measures, pulmonologist Haris Armeftis said on Monday.

Speaking to CyBC radio, Armeftis said there has been a decrease in the number of coronavirus patients being treated in ICUs and in hospital in general.

He added that it has now been shown that the Omicron variant causes milder symptoms, adding that the vast majority of those in ICU were infected with the Delta variant.

The existing data, he added, make it possible to allow for relaxations that will apply to all, including the unvaccinated.

Epidemiologists and Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas, who will be released from self-isolation on Monday evening, will hold their weekly meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss proposals in view of the current data.

Ministry spokesman Constantinos Athanasiou, told Ant1 that some suggestions have already been received by the minister, and that “for several weeks now discussions have been underway for the adjustment of protective measures and protocols so as to simplify the whole process.”

Suggestions include doing away with separate requirements based on vaccination status. Hadjipantelas is expected to examine the possibility for those unvaccinated to be permitted entry into food venues, sports centres, theatres, weddings and christenings upon presentation of a negative test.

Also expected to be reviewed are rules about the number of people permitted in food and entertainment venues, and attendance at weddings and christenings, which is expected to change from 200 to 250, as well as raising the number of people allowed to be seated at a table from eight to 12 and people congregating in homes from 10 to 15.

Remote working is also expected to be reduced from 50 to 25 per cent. Expansion of the test-to-stay measure to public employees will also be deliberated.

The final word rests with the minister who will be setting the date for the relaxations to go into effect.

Member of the government advisory team Maria Koliou though said relaxing of measures should not be hurried into. Speaking to Astra, she said the positivity rate in schools was less than one per cent, which showed that cases in education have fallen.

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