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Coronavirus: Minister awaiting advisers on lifting remaining measures

Υπουργός Υγείας – Έναρξη Πορείας Χ
Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela

The status of Cyprus’ Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations have improved, the health minister said on Thursday amid reports that the last remaining restrictions could be scrapped from May 1.

Asked about the potential lifting of the remaining measures, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela put the focus on the government’s Covid-19 advisers – insisting that he will await their suggestions.

The ministry and its advisors are due to meet on Tuesday, as Hadjipantela said that the decisions are based on the advice provided: “That’s what we did straight away, we will listen to them carefully and if they advise further relaxations then they will be put to cabinet on Wednesday.”

Asked about reports that the final restrictions – requirements for a SafePass to enter bars and restaurants, for example – could be scrapped from May 1, Hadjipantela said he will consult with the advisors first and then announce any potential changes.

He reiterated that in the past few days there have been improvements as regards infections and hospitalisations and that if this continues – along with no new variants emerging – “then I see us being very near where other countries are”, referring to other nations which have ditched all restrictions.

Indeed, 183 people were hospitalised with the virus as of Wednesday night while 1,414 infections were uncovered following 55,000 tests having been carried out – a noticeable reduction in the number of tests.

Notably, the health minister last week said that up to 50 per cent of those listed as Covid-19 patients were in hospital with the virus, not necessarily being treated for the virus.

Previous rounds of restrictions and lockdowns were often justified, in part, by citing the number of total Covid-19 hospitalisations.

Elsewhere, Greece said on Wednesday that pandemic restrictions such as mask-wearing indoors and Covid-19 certificates will be lifted throughout the summer tourism period and authorities will consider reinstating them in September.

Greece’s Health Minister Thanos Plevris said the decision to ease restrictions was “based on the epidemiological data and suggestions from experts” but added that all measures will be re-evaluated in September.

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