Statement by the Minister of Health, Mr Michalis Hadjipantelas, after today’s meeting of the Council of Ministers
The great response of our fellow citizens to the call for vaccination in all provinces, sends encouraging messages for the fight against the pandemic and for the shielding of public health. This can be seen from the massive turnout of citizens in recent days at the vaccination centres. Specifically, in the last 10 days, about 10 thousand of our fellow citizens rushed to receive the 1the dose of the vaccine, while 70 thousand people rushed to take the 3the booster dose;
However, last Friday, the entire planet was put on alert in light of the new data presented after the emergence of the “Omikron” mutation, which alerted health authorities around the world. It is our duty as the Ministry of Health and as a Government to respond to these developments by taking additional measures to protect public health and protect vulnerable groups.
Regarding, for the week of 20- 26 November, 26% of the positive cases concern minors. It is for this reason that the Ministry of Health, following the recommendations of experts, proceeded to take protective measures to ensure the health of our children, but also to continue the smooth operation of school units with physical presence. At this point, as the Ministry of Health and as a government, we respect the opposite view and the right to free expression, yet we strongly condemn any form of violence, be it physical, verbal or psychological, with events that have come to light in recent days.
Taking into account the above, and the fact that additional measures need to be taken to limit the spread of the virus and allow society and the economy to remain in operation, the Council of Ministers has decided:
a) from Monday, December 6, until January 10, 2022, all passengers entering the Republic of Cyprus without exception from airports will be subject to a mandatory PCR check. The cost of EUR 15 will be borne by the passenger himself.
(b) from Monday, December 6 to December 31, 2021, teleworking for 20% of the staff of each company or organization in the service sector, excluding essential services, as defined in the decree. It is clarified that this percentage includes people who, due to illness or declaration as close contact with a confirmed case, are placed in self-isolation and work from home, and people who make use of their rest leave.
(c) from Monday, December 6 to February 28, 2022, the suspension of all presentations of reservists and national guardsmen.
(d) from Monday, December 6 to January 10, 2022, the suspension of all Christmas or other events inside and outside shopping centers,
(e) for any other events that will be held by Municipalities, communities and places of religious worship, the organization will be allowed under the responsibility of the local authorities and organizers for the observance of the health protocols and the decree. In case of non-compliance with the protocols, the events will be suspended.
(f) the recommendation not to conduct all school excursions by private individuals. Already with previous decisions, the conduct of school excursions has been suspended.