Clarifications on the decisions of the Council of Ministers to stop the spread of COVID-19, issued 30/12/2021

This is an unofficial translation of the latest clarification announcement from the Ministry of Health here in Greek.

The Ministry of Health clarifies that: 

  1. from 4 January at 11 pm until 15 January 2022, passengers over 12 years of age arriving in the Republic of Cyprus are required to submit a negative PCR laboratory test 48 hours before departure.

• The decision applies to all passengers regardless of nationality and historical vaccination. 

• It is reminded that upon arrival in the Republic, all passengers, regardless of historical vaccination, undergo a PCR laboratory examination and the cost is borne by the passenger. 

• In addition except from those who have been proved to have received a booster dose of the vaccine, other passengers should be screened for COVID-19 rapid antigen with the completion of  72 hours from arrival.

 

  1. as of January 3, 2022, 40% of the staff of each company or organization in the service sector as well as for the public and wider public sector work by telework (remotely).

• It is clarified that this percentage includes people who due to illness or declaration as close contact with a confirmed case are self-isolating and work from home and people who have used their rest leave. 

• Companies that employ up to 10 people are excluded from the remote-working measure. 

• * Essential services are excluded (as listed below) 

• Employees who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination program with two doses for dual-dose vaccines and one dose for single-dose vaccine, or who have a COVID illness-certificate (180 days) are required to submit a negative Rapid Detection Rapid Detection Test of a 7-days duration. Control is carried out via the presentation of a text message or presentation of the result in printed form. 

• Employees who received the booster / 3rd dose of vaccine in case of dual-dose vaccines or 2nd dose in case of single-dose are excluded. 

• Employees (18+) who have not received any vaccine dose are required to submit a 72-hour PCR test or a 48-hour Rapid test. The control is done through the CovScan Cyprus application. 

• For vaccinated or COVID-19-infected individuals or those excluded from medical vaccination, the rapid test is provided free of charge at the sampling points. This also applies to people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine and the period required to take the 2nd dose has not elapsed or in the case of the single dose vaccine 14 days have not elapsed since the first dose. 

• Each organization, company, enterprise, can set a specific day on which the employees will be checked for the weekly Rapid test. 

• It is clarified that if a transmission chain is recorded in a workplace, all employees without exception will be examined.

 

  1. from 30 December 2021, entry to nightclubs, music and dance centers, banquets, weddings, baptisms will be allowed only with the additional submission of a 24 hours negative Rapid test.

• In the above places the following persons are allowed to enter with the presentation of a 24-hour Rapid test only:

(a) persons who have received at least one dose of vaccine and in the case of a two-dose vaccine have not passed 35 days

b) persons who have completed their vaccination schedule;

(c) persons holding a valid COVID19 illness certificate; and

d) persons who for medical reasons can not be vaccinated and hold a medical certificate issued by the Ministry of Health. 

• Citizens who received the booster / 3rd dose of vaccine are excluded from the decision for a 24-hour Rapid test. 

• The employees of the above areas are excluded from the decision for a 24-hour Rapid test. 

• Until January 6, 2022, children aged 12-17 years who have not received any vaccine dose will be able to come to the above places (weddings, baptisms) by presenting a negative Rapid test for 24 hours, meaning that accompanied by a parent / guardian who has started or completed his / her vaccination program.

 

It is reminded that: 

From December 15, 2021, ONLY people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine enter the following areas and in case of a dual vaccine the 35 days have not passed with the necessary condition to have a negative result of PCR laboratory test or rapid antigen test (rapid test) . 

(i) indoor and outdoor stadiums 

Excluded are professional athletes, employees of sports facilities and people aged 12 to 18, who train or compete in sports venues. 

(ii) theaters, amphitheaters, cinemas, auditoriums 

Employees are excluded by presenting a negative laboratory test PCR or rapid antigen test (rapid test). 

(iii) dining areas (including shopping malls) 

Employees are excluded by presenting a negative laboratory test PCR or rapid antigen test (rapid test). 

• Children aged 6-11 are excluded, meaning they have a SafePass while for children under 6 there is no restriction. 

• In all other areas not mentioned above, the existing provisions based on the decrees continue to apply. 

SafePass requirements by age:

• 0-5 years there is no restriction.

• 6-11 years old requires a negative laboratory test on a weekly basis (excluding children 6 years old attending pre-primary education).

• 12-17 years old requires a negative laboratory PCR test lasting 72 hours or rapid antigen detection test.

• 18 years and older require a negative laboratory PCR test lasting 72 hours or a rapid antigen detection test lasting 48 hours).

 

It is reminded that: 

Until January 6, 2022, in anticipation of the Christmas holidays, children aged 12-17 who have not received any dose of the vaccine will be able to attend restaurants (including restaurants in malls and hotels), theaters, amphitheaters, cinemas, auditoriums, indoor and outdoor stadiums, with the submission of a negative Rapid test for 72 hours, provided that they are accompanied by a parent / guardian who has started or completed his / her vaccination program. 

• It is reminded that the Safe Pass demonstration is required in places where there is the possibility based on capacity of more than 10 people to gather, including employees.

 

  1. from 30 December 2021, the maximum is set at 300 people for restaurants, entertainment centers and music and dance centers in compliance with health protocols and the maximum number of people per square meter in force.

• Citizens should be seated while dancing is prohibited. 

• It is clarified that the above measure for weddings and baptisms will be implemented from January 3, 2022.

 

  1. from 30 December 2021, the presence of fans in the stadiums is set at 50% of the capacity of the stadium, with the mandatory use of a face mask.

• In case it is found after an inspection that the protection measures are not observed, the competent authorities will be able to revoke its operating license.

 

  1. from 30 December 2021, visits to public and private hospitals and closed structures are prohibited.

• Unless approved by management after a negative 24-hour PCR laboratory test for emergencies only.

 

  1. For visits of patients and attendants to the outpatient clinics of public and private hospitals, private clinics and diagnostic centers, it is required to present a negative Rapid test lasting 24 hours.

• Excluded are those who have received a booster / 3rd dose of vaccine.

 

  1. from 30 December 2021, the change of COVID-19 case management protocols and close contacts for healthcare professionals who have not received any vaccine dose, or received two doses for dual vaccines or one dose for single-dose vaccine and have expired the period of 7 months and did not receive the booster / 3rd dose.

• Confirmed close case contacts will undergo PCR on day 5 and Rapid test on day 6 with a negative result after contact with case to be released from restriction.

• Positive coronavirus cases are entitled to undergo a Rapid test on the 6th and 7th day and if the result is negative to be released on the 8th day, provided that they do not show symptoms for a period of 48 hours.

 

In addition, the following are recommended: 

– Citizens use a double surgical mask or a high protection mask. (eg type KN95 or type FFP2).

– Avoidance of the use of a fabric face mask.

 

The full list of enterprises classified as essential services includes amongst others: 

(1) the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance, including its Departments / Services,

(2) the Ministry of Health, including its Directorates / Departments and Services, as well as the State Health Services Organization and the Health Insurance Organization and their Directorates and/or Services,

(3) the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, including its Departments / Directorates,

(4) the Ministry of Finance, including its Directorates-General / Departments / Services,

(5) the Ministry of Interior, including its Directorates / Departments / Services,

(6) the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry, including its Directorates / Departments / Services,

(7) the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, including its Directorates / Departments / Services,

(8) the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, including its Directorates / Departments / Services,

(9) the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, including its Directorates / Departments and Services,

(10) the Ministry of Defense,

(11) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including its Directorates / Departments,

(12) the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, including its Departments / Services,

(13) the Ministry of Shipping,

(14) the Ministry of Tourism,

(15) the Ministry of Social Welfare

(16) the House of Representatives,

(17) the Courts and the Registries (including their employees),

(18) the Legal Service, the State Department for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, including its Departments / Services,

(19) the Health Services of the Authorities of the Local Self-Government and of the public and wider public sector, (20) the Cyprus Information Service,

(21) the Police, the Fire Brigade and the Prison Department,

(22) the National Guard,

(23) the General Accounting Office,

(24) private and public hospitals, clinics, medical and diagnostic centers,

(25) the essential services of airports and airlines,

(26) the Telecommunication Companies and Radio Cyprus,

(27) the Cyprus Electricity Authority,

(28) Water Supply Boards, Desalination Stations,

(29) the Cyprus Transmission System Operator,

(30) the Financial Markets and Payments Infrastructure Department, the Currency Management Department, the Informatics Department, the General Administrative Services Department, the Accounting Services and Auditing Department and the Supervision – Crisis Group, Central Bank of Cyprus,

(31) the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority,

(32) the Cyprus Sports Organization,

(33) the Presidency of the Republic,

(34) the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers,

(35) the Ports Authority, Ports and Services within Ports,

(36) the Digital Security Authority,

(37) the Sewerage Boards,

(38) the Public Service Committee,

(39) the Education Service Committee,

 

In addition to the above, for the purposes of this Decree, the following are defined as Essential Services:

Banking, Insurance, Credit, Shipping, Lawyers, Law Firms and Law Firms, Mass Media, services necessary for the surveillance and management of the Coronavirus pandemic, for the provision of social services and the payment of allowances and other benefits to the citizens, for the provision of a continuous supply of electricity, water supply, for water supply purposes, for the operation of electronic communications / systems, telecommunications and post offices, for the operation of air transport and control air traffic, for the operation of maritime traffic management and monitoring systems, for the operation of civil defense, for the operation of hospitals and similar services in the field of health, for veterinary services, prisons, asylum and migration, for the repair or maintenance of equipment; and of the electromechanical installations of the National Guard, the Police, including the Fire Brigade, the safe management of waste and strategic reserves of the State, the operation of ports and similar and support services, the activities of providing private protection and protection systems services, as well as providing maintenance and cleaning services in buildings and outdoor areas, as well as departments and officials of the public sector whose nature of work provides a physical presence that concerns the implementation of actions of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan.

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