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Coronavirus: Scrapping of face mask mandate under discussion

08 (4)
Photo: Christos Theodorides

Members of the scientific team are expected in the next few days to submit recommendation regarding the use of face masks indoors and whether the measure against Covid-19 should be scrapped.

Reports on Monday suggested that epidemiologists are currently split between those in favour of abolishing face masks indoors and others who believe the measure should remain in place in case of a possible new variant after the summer months.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas will then convey the epidemiologists’ recommendations to the cabinet before deliberating on the issue.

Last Friday, health ministry spokesperson Constantinos Athanasiou said, Hadjipantelas asked the scientific team directly whether the situation regarding the virus in Cyprus is safe enough to allow the abolition of face masks indoors.

“Signs are pointing towards the scrapping of the mask mandate, except for places considered at risk, such as hospitals, care homes and other places where the presence of people belonging to vulnerable categories gather,” he said.

As of Monday, some other measures against Covid-19 were further relaxed, specifically, the total capacity in retail stores, shopping centres and offices offering public services were increased to 100 per cent for premises of up to 500 square metres and to 85 per cent for premises measuring over 500 square metres.

The latest relaxations follow a number of previous ones which came in effect on May 15.

It is now no longer necessary to show a Safe Pass in public areas except for visits to nursing homes, closed areas, hospital outpatient clinics and medical and diagnostic centres.

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