Statement by the Minister of Health regarding the decisions of the Council of Ministers on COVID-19

As part of the Minister of Health’s speech here in English, on the relaxation of measures to combat COVID19, the following are of key note:

The Council of Ministers, constantly monitoring data and with a unanimous proposal by the Scientific Committee, has decided that:

a)    as of 11 April 2022, the abolition of the mandatory use of a protective mask outdoors.

b)    as of 11 April 2022, the abolition of Safe Pass in workplaces, in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. Self-testing is recommended in case of symptoms. Employees in senior people’s homes, closed structures, hospitals, and medical centres and health professionals are excluded.

c)    as of 18 April 2022, the abolition of Safe Pass in retail trade and shopping malls (excluding catering areas within shopping malls).

d)    as of 11 April 2022, the automatic release of covid-positive persons from self-isolation on the 7th day, without a rapid antigen test, provided that they do not have active symptoms. The release of persons earlier than 7 days is possible with a negative PCR test result on the 5th day since the diagnosis and the cost shall be borne by themselves. The measure will also be applied in existing cases on 11 April 2022. Special arrangements apply to closed structures, senior people’s homes and hospitals.

e)    as of 11 April 2022, the reduction of the self-isolation period from 7 to 5 days, for persons who are close contacts of a confirmed positive case and according to the Protocol shall be isolated, provided that they do not have active symptoms. A rapid antigen test on the 3rd and 5th day from the day of contact is required. The measure will also be applied in existing cases on 11 April 2022.

f)     as of 11 April 2022, the reduction of the time period of the “test to stay” measure (where applicable) from 7 to 5 days. The measure will also be applied in existing cases on 11 April 2022. Students who are contacts of a positive case within the family are excluded.

g)    as of 11 April 2022, the extension of the validity of the “test to stay” measure (where applicable) to afternoon extracurricular activities for students.

h)    as of 11 April 2022, the abolition of Safe Pass presentation in businesses serving the public, as well as in Departments/Services of the state and wider state sector which serve the public, in archaeological sites, museums, historical sites, visual arts sites and galleries, in construction sites and businesses of similar activity, in flea markets, bazaars and festivals.

i)     as of 11 April 2022, the increase of occupancy in theatres, cinemas and performance spaces to 100% of capacity.

j)     as of 11 April 2022, teleworking at 25% in businesses and organisations of the public and wider public sector, as well as in local government authorities is recommended.

k)    as of 11 April 2022, visits of relatives to public and private hospitals upon presentation of a 24-hour rapid antigen test is allowed (1 person per visit).

l)     as of 2 May 2022, students returning to schools must present a 48-hour rapid antigen test and then a 7-day Rapid test.

m)  as of 11 April 2022,group camps are permitted upon presentation of a Safe Pass.

n)    as of 15 April 2022, positive diagnoses, deaths and hospitalisations shall be announced on a weekly basis.

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