COVID-19 – Ministry of Health reminder on the mandatory weekly check with rapid antigen test

The Ministry of Health has issued today a reminder on the Mandatory Weekly Rapid Antigen Test.

Continuing its efforts to further improve the epidemiological picture of Cyprus, and ensuring continuous surveillance in the community, the Ministry of Health focuses on regular antigen testing of employees. The increased number of tests has been a central pillar of the Government from the beginning, as it reflects the epidemiological picture in real time, leading to the taking of measures and mainly to the planning of the plan for their de-escalation.

Targeting the monitoring of workplaces, and in order to achieve the smooth re-opening of companies / professional sectors, in the period 1-7 February, 208,000 people, ie ¼ of the population, were examined by the method of antigen rapid tests.

Based on the above and in accordance with the strategy of gradual and careful lifting of restrictive measures, the following are restated:

  1. Mandatory weekly rapid test on employees:

Through regular staff examinations, the effort is still to reduce the incidence of outbreaks in the workplace so that they operate safely.

Therefore, employers / managers of companies, as well as Departments / Services of the public and wider public sector have a responsibility to coordinate and control so that employees undergo a rapid test, in order to ensure the mandatory weekly antigen examination of staff as follows:

  • Businesses / services that employ up to 3 people, the testing should be done on all employees.
  • Businesses / services employing from 4 to 10 people, testing should be done on at least 4 employees.
  • Businesses / services that employ more than 11 people, testing should be done on at least 4 people or 20% of employees, whichever is greater in number.
  1. Weekly check with rapid test on athletes / employees in sports facilities:

As part of the gradual restart of the sports sector, a PCR or rapid test is initially required for all athletes over the age of 18 and those working in open / outdoor facilities.

Subsequently, the mandatory repeat examination on a weekly basis is provided for at least 50% of the employees and athletes of team sports from 18 years and over. Weekly PCR or rapid antigen testing for individual sports athletes is also recommended.

It is clarified that in order to go to the places designated by the Cyprus Sports Organization for individual training purposes, it is required to send an SMS with a choice of number 6 by all athletes, regardless of age. For minors who do not have a mobile phone, a signed certificate must be submitted by the parent / legal guardian for the transfer of the child to the sports / training area. For control purposes, parents / legal guardians may use Form B to transport the child to and from the individual training area, provided they provide proof of the date and time of the activity.

  1. Sending of SMS for movement:

Exceptional travel is permitted twice daily by sending a text message to 8998 for the cases listed on Form B in Greek and also IN ENGLISH 5022021_entypoB_revised2_ENGL.docx. Individuals over the age of 65 may use Form B for their exceptional travel. There are nine (9) categories for exceptional travel by sending SMS.

It is noted that sending SMS by parents / legal guardians is not required only in cases of transportation of minor children to and from school units (nurseries, kindergartens, Special Schools, Primary Schools and Lyceums / Technical Schools for seniors).

It is clarified that for the purposes of going to and from work for work purposes the employee must present Form A, signed by his employer.

  1. Monitoring the implementation of measures:

For the purposes of monitoring both the health protocols, but also controlling the observance of the weekly test measure as mentioned in point 1 above, the controls are intensified by the Police, the Health Services of the Ministry of Health, as well as the competent Departments of the Ministries of Labor, Education, Agriculture, Trade and Home Affairs, depending on the companies and the sectors that fall under their responsibilities.

Finally, the Cyprus Sports Organization, the Cyprus Football Federation, as well as the other Federations under the Cyprus Sports Organization are responsible for the implementation of the health instructions and the observance of the measure for weekly examination in the field of sports.

The original release in Greek can be found here.