Update on Measures as of May 10th, Rapid/PCR Testing, Safepass and available guidelines for Health at the Workplace during COVID-19

n view of questions raised, we would like to detail information on the latest decree, RAPID/PCR testing, the implementation of “SAFEPASS”, and available guidelines for health at the workplace.

  1. DECREE

The latest decree covering the measures that will be applicable as of May 10th has been attached.

I would point out the following as addressed by the decree with translation following:

“Οι ιδιωτικές επιχειρήσεις παροχής υπηρεσιών, εξαιρουμένων των ουσιωδών υπηρεσιών, εργάζονται με εξ΄ αποστάσεως εργασία και:

(i) Μέχρι και τη 16η Μαΐου 2021 επιτρέπεται εντός του κάθε επαγγελματικού υποστατικού η φυσική παρουσία εργαζομένων που δεν υπερβαίνει το 30% του συνολικού αριθμού εργαζομένων, με ελάχιστο αριθμό φυσικής παρουσίας τα 5 πρόσωπα, εάν το επιθυμεί ο εργοδότης και με μέγιστο αριθμό τα 50 πρόσωπα ανά επαγγελματικό υποστατικό και τηρουμένων των κατευθυντήριων οδηγιών του Υπουργείου Υγείας,

(ii) από τη 17η Μαΐου 2021 επιτρέπεται η φυσική παρουσία εργαζομένων που δεν υπερβαίνει το 50% του συνολικού αριθμού εργαζομένων,”

 

“Private service companies, excluding essential services, work remotely and:

(i)                  Until the 16th of May 2021, physical presence of employees is allowed within each professional establishment, as long as it does not exceed 30% of the total number of employees, with a minimum number of physical presence of 5 persons, if the employer so wishes, and a maximum number of 50 persons per professional premises and in compliance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health,

(ii)                from 17 May 2021 physical presence of employees is allowed, not exceeding 50% of the total number of employees,

 Page 15

“2.8 Η  χρήση  προστατευτικής  μάσκας  προσώπου  είναι υποχρεωτική  για  όλα  τα  πρόσωπα δώδεκα ετών και άνω,σε εσωτερικούς χώρους όπου υπάρχουν περισσότερα του ενός προσώπων και σε εξωτερικούς χώρους όπου βρίσκονται ή/και διακινούνται δύο πρόσωπα και άνω και εξαιρουμένων των  περιπτώσεων  που  καθορίζονται  με  κατευθυντήριες  οδηγίες,  οι  οποίες  εκδίδονται  από  το Υπουργείο Υγείας”

 “2.8 The use of a face mask is mandatory for all persons twelve years of age and older, indoors where there is more than one person and outdoors where two persons are located and / or move, except in cases specified in guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health”.

Page 27

“2.38 Όλοι  οι εργαζόμενοι  στον  ιδιωτικό,  δημόσιο, ευρύτερο  δημόσιο  τομέα,  στις  Αρχές  Τοπικής Αυτοδιοίκησης,  καθώς  και  οι  εργαζόμενοι  στην  εκπαιδευτική  υπηρεσία,  υποχρεούνται όπως υποβάλλονται σε εξέταση ταχείας ανίχνευσης αντιγόνου για την ασθένεια τουCOVID-19 με βάση τις κατευθυντήριες οδηγίες του Υπουργείου Υγείας:Νοείται ότι, οι εργοδότες οφείλουν να διασφαλίζουν τη συμμόρφωση των εργοδοτουμένων τους με τις  πρόνοιες του παρόντος  Κανονισμού,  στη βάση  των  κατευθυντήριων  οδηγιών του  Υπουργείου Υγείας: Νοείται περαιτέρω ότι, εργαζόμενοι που εμπίπτουν στις πρόνοιες του παρόντος Κανονισμού και οι οποίοι είτε κατέχουν πιστοποιητικό εμβολιασμού από τη Δημοκρατία για την ασθένεια του COVID-19 τουλάχιστον με τη μία δόση και νοουμένου ότι έχει παρέλθει διάστημα τριών εβδομάδων μετά την ημερομηνία εμβολιασμού,είτε αποδεικτικό στοιχείο αποδέσμευσης στις περιπτώσεις προσώπων που νόσησαν από την ασθένεια του COVID-19 και νοουμένου ότι δεν έχει παρέλθει διάστημα έξι μηνών από  την  ημερομηνία δειγματοληψίας  της αρχικής θετικήςτους  διάγνωσης,εξαιρούνται  της υποχρέωσης διενέργειας εξέτασης ταχείας ανίχνευσης αντιγόνου για την ασθένειατου COVID-19”.

 “2.38 All employees in the private, public, wider public sector, in the Local Government Authorities, as well as the employees in the educational service, are obliged to undergo a rapid antigen detection test for COVID-19 disease based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Health: Employers must ensure the compliance of their employees with the provisions of this Regulation, based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Health:

It is further understood that workers who fall within the provisions of this Regulation and who either hold a vaccination certificate from the Republic for COVID-19 disease of at least one dose, provided that three weeks have elapsed since the date of vaccination, or provide evidence of having contracted COVID-19 and, provided that no more than six months have elapsed since the date of sampling of their initial positive diagnosis, are exempted from the obligation to undergo rapid antigen screening for COVID-19.

There are a number of other issued announcements that need to be pointed out:

  1. RAPID TESTS

Employers in businesses, as well as the Heads of Departments/Services in the public and wider public sector, are obliged to coordinate the rapid testing of the employees, so that the mandatory weekly testing of the personnel, through the rapid antigen test, is ensured as follows:

·       Businesses/services employing up to 5 people, all employees should be tested.

·       Businesses/services employing more than 5 people, at least 50% of employees should be tested.

Additionally, the self-employed and the domestic employees and/or people caring for elders or disabled persons or people providing assistance to individuals who are unable to take care of themselves are obligated to participate in the program.

It is recalled that all teachers and school staff without exception are required to undergo a weekly check with a rapid antigen test. The negative result certificate should be presented during the checks.

The details are found in the announcement for Rapid Testing here in English.

  1. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION FOR “SAFEPASS” FROM MAY 10

In view of the application from Monday, May 10, of the decision for the presentation of evidence (SAFEPASS) for going to sites of synchronous crowds, the following are reminded (as announced here in Greek).:

1.       Citizens may present one of the following:

a.       Vaccination certificate with at least one dose and after a period of 3 weeks. Citizens can present the Vaccination Card issued at the Vaccination Centers, or

b.       evidence that a person has been ill with COVID-19 within the past 6 months. Citizens can present the text message of release or the text message of recovery sent to them by the Ministry of Health on their mobile phone, or

c.       If one of the above does not apply, as a temporary solution, citizens aged 12 and over are given the option to submit a certificate of negative test, PCR or rapid testvalid for 72 hours. For example, if the test took place on Sunday at 10 am it will be valid until Wednesday at 10 am.

d.       Citizens can present either the form given to them by the various sampling points (see below) or the text message sent to their mobile phone with the result of the examination. It is clarified that certificates from antibody test or self-test will not be accepted.

2.       Where point 1 (a) above applies, the following shall be specified:

a.        A coronavirus case is a person who has been diagnosed positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus by a molecular test (PCR test) or an antigen rapid test by:

·       a clinical laboratory ((list in English here) which has verified the diagnostic methodology for detecting viral genetic material (RT-RCR), or

·       mobile rapid test sampling unit through the program of the Ministry of Health, or

·       clinical laboratory that meets the specifications of the Ministry of Health for performing rapid antigen test (list of labs here)..

b.       A person diagnosed with a coronavirus case should have been reported to the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (ESU) of the Ministry of Health within a reasonable time from the day the result was issued.

c.       Cases reported to the ICU are traced and released on a protocol basis either following the actions of their Personal Physician or by the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit Release Team (if there is no Personal Physician).

d.       Individuals registered within the ESU database who have contracted COVID-19 in the last 6 months, regardless of whether they have received a release SMS at the end of their quarantine period, will receive another SMS with proof of recovery by tomorrowMay 9 , the evening. On the recovery SMS the validity period of the receipt will be indicated. The text message may be displayed in the event of a check. For people, such as minors or seniors who do not have a personal mobile phone, the SMS will be sent to the mobile phone of the parent / guardian or the representative of the person registered in the system.

e.       Those who have been diagnosed as positive cases, have been released but have not received an SMS either at the end of their quarantine, nor until tomorrow night, should complete the attached statement ( found here) and send it to contacttracing2@moh.gov.cy   as soon as possible.. The request will be examined and in a reasonable time, and there will be a communication from the Tracking Team of the MEE for further instructions.

3.       It is reminded that proof must be presented in the following places:

a.       Dining areas (restaurants, cafes, bars, snack bars, etc.)

b.       Places of religious worship

c.       Outdoor and indoor theaters, cinemas and performing arts halls or spectacles

d.       Shopping malls and retail stores

e.       Social events such as weddings, baptisms and funerals

f.        Gyms, dance schools and other sports schools, for those who work out indoors

g.       Nursing homes, elderly-care homes, accommodation facilities for the chronically ill and other closed structures

h.       Hotels and tourist accommodation

i.         Pre-election rallies in theaters / amphitheaters, restaurants, homes

j.         Conferences, trade fairs

k.       Casino

4.       The presentation of evidence is not mandatory for going to the following places:

a.       Hairdressers, beauty salons

b.       Banks

c.       Departments / Services of public service of the private, public and wider public sector

d.       Gambling and betting companies

e.       Flea markets, supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, fruit shops, mini-markets, kiosks, pharmacies

f.        Beaches

g.       Outdoor excursion areas, dams and zoos.

5.       The responsibility for the control of possession of evidence lies only with the Officers of the Police or of the competent Ministries / Departments depending on the companies that fall within the areas of their competence. The managers of the companies / premises are not responsible for the control of the evidence and the citizens are not obliged to present the evidence in their possession to unauthorized persons.

  1. AVAILABLE GUIDELINES FOR THE WORKPLACE

A Reminder That guidelines issued for businesses in Greek (except Health sector) on January 15th are included here:-

5520 8 5 2021 PARARTIMA 3o MEROS I

15012021_odigosektostomeaparoxisygeias

 

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