Rapid Antigen Testing – what changes from 1 August

The Ministry of Health has issued additional information with regards to the changes in the Rapid Antigen Test Process that will be effective as of August 1st here as follows here and unofficially translated:

  1. What changes from the 1st of August onwards in relation to the performance of rapid antigen detection tests?

According to a decision of the Council of Ministers, dated July 2, 2021, as of August 1, the free antigen rapid test for COVID-19 (antigen rapid test) will be abolished.

  1. Where can a citizen undergo a rapidtest to secure SafePass?

For SafePass issuance purposes, citizens can only perform rapid antigen detection tests only on the licensed premises of the clinical laboratories that are primarily responsible for conducting the test, as well as on the licensed premises of the pharmacies.

The Ministry of Health has established procedures for control and supervision of the procedures to be followed regarding the necessary knowledge as well as the medical equipment that will be used, since only products of specific manufacturers can be used for the issuance of the European Digital Certificate as agreed by the Member States of the European Union. Regarding clinical laboratories or pharmacies which will not comply with the procedures and instructions of the Ministry of Health in matters concerning the conduct and reporting of the results of the tests that will be performed, the approval of testing will be revoked and they will be fined.

  1. How much will it cost to perform the test in private clinical laboratories and pharmacies?

The maximum charging price according to a decision of the Council of Ministers, dated 16 July 2021, is set at 10 euros.

  1. Is the free control program of the Ministry of Health with Rapidtest ending?

No, the Ministry of Health program will continue for the population groups, which for certain reasons cannot be vaccinated and to which it will continue to be provided free of charge.

  1. Can I perform Rapidtest at my own expense in the mobile sampling units that will operate through the program of the Ministry of Health?

No, the mobile testing stations that will continue through the program of the Ministry of Health will serve only the groups of the population that are excluded from the paid tests and do not have the authority to receive money from citizens.

  1. Which groups of the population will be entitled to test in at mobile sampling stations through the free program of the Ministry of Health?

Upon submission of the necessary evidence for identification purposes, the following groups may conduct a free rapid test through the program of the Ministry of Health:

  • Minors up to 16 years of age who do not currently have the option of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Minors between the ages of 16 and 17, meaning that their parents / legal guardians do not consent to their vaccination.
  • People aged 16 and over who cannot be vaccinated with supported by medical evidence. The categories of citizens who cannot be vaccinated due to medical problems will be adopted upon the recommendation of the Pancyprian Medical Association and relevant instructions will be issued to citizens and health professionals.
  • Pregnant women with the necessary medical certificate from their gynecologists confirming that vaccination is not recommended.
  • Individuals who have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and for the three-week period must be tested as a prerequisite for SafePass. The Vaccination Card must be presented for verification purposes.
  • Individuals who have completed their vaccination regimen but wish to be tested for their health monitoring purposes or for other reasons. It is understood that the Vaccination Card must be submitted.

In addition, the Ministry of Health, in the context of monitoring the epidemiological situation in the country, will continue its inspections in closed structures, nursing homes and other places where high-risk people live and / or belong to vulnerable groups of the population.

  1. How often should I have a rapid antigen test?

For SafePass issuance purposes and provided that the citizen over the age of 12 does not hold a COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate for the last 180 days, he or she must undergo a PCR or rapid antigen detection test every 72 hours.