Statement by the Minister of Health, Mr Michalis Hadjipantela, regarding the decisions of the Council of Ministers
In the last two years, we have been able to tackle this unprecedented threat to public health, with great results.
At this time, with the right planning, we are heading responsibly on the gradual lifting of restrictions.
Today, we are able to take our next steps. The improvement of the epidemiological situation in Cyprus allows us to announce further relaxations in the measures against the spread of COVID-19.
However, relaxing the measures against the pandemic should not cancel our efforts since March 2020. The suspension of the restrictions does not signify the end of the pandemic. Coronavirus is still among us and it infects people around us every day. With scientific knowledge and experience, we now have the weapons to deal with it successfully, and I am convinced that in this battle we will win, with the contribution and individual responsibility of all of us.
The Council of Ministers, constantly monitoring data and with a unanimous proposal by the Scientific Committee, has decided:
a) as of 22 April 2022, the suspension of Safe Pass in the outdoor of catering and entertainment establishments.
b) as of 22 April 2022, the abolition of the limit of persons per table in catering areas and at home gatherings.
c) as of 22 April 2022, the lifting of the obligation to use a protective mask for employees working in the outdoor of catering and entertainment establishments.
d) as of 15 May 2022, the suspension of the measure of mandatory Safe Pass presentation at all places. Catering areas, entertainment establishments and visitors to Senior People’s homes, closed structures, hospitals, medical centres, clinics and rehabilitation centres are excluded.
e) as of 15 May 2022, visits to Senior People’s homes, closed structures, hospitals will be allowed upon presentation of a 48-hour Rapid test or a 72-hour PCR test for persons who do not hold a valid vaccination or recovery certificate. No obligation for persons holding a valid vaccination or recovery certificate (average-risk category preconditions).
f) as of 15 May 2022, the suspension of the obligation for self-isolation for persons who are close contacts of a confirmed positive case and do not hold a valid vaccination or recovery certificate. It is recommended that all close contacts of positive cases are tested on the 3rd and the 5th day of contact.
g) as of 15 May 2022, the lifting of the obligation to use a protective mask for children under 12 years of age.
h) as of May 15 2022, the suspension of the “test to stay” measure in pupils/students and teachers in Primary and Secondary Education (kindergartens, special schools and pre-primary schools).
i) as of 15 May 2022, the suspension of the measure for mandatory presentation of a Safe Pass for pupils/students attending all school levels.
j) as of 15 May 2022, the recommendation that all citizens, regardless of vaccination history, carry out a self-test or a rapid antigen test once a week for epidemiological surveillance purposes.
k) as of 15 May 2022, the increase in capacity in catering areas and entertainment establishments. In particular, for premises up to 500m² at 100% of the capacity and for premises of more than 500m² at 85% of the capacity (ratio: 1 person per m²).
l) as of 15 May 2022, the presentation of a 48-hour rapid test or PCR by the employees in hospitals, clinics, medical centres, rehabilitation centres, Senior People’s homes and closed structures, who do not hold a valid vaccination or recovery certificate. For employees holding a valid vaccination or recovery certificate, a self-test is recommended once a week.
m) as of 15 May 2022, the increase of the occupancy in stadiums and casinos to 85% of their capacity.
n) as of 22 April 2022, Apollonion, Aretaeio, Mediterranean, American Heart and Ygia Polyclinic hospitals shall have at least two beds exclusively for patients who will have been hospitalised in the above-mentioned hospitals for another reason and will be diagnosed positive to the virus SARS-CoV-2.
o) the administration of a booster/4th dose of the vaccine to persons of 60 years of age and over, provided that a period of 5 months has elapsed since the administration of the booster/3rd dose of the vaccine.
p) the setting a maximum price limit (price ceiling) on the 5 self-test packages at the price of 6 euro.
Finally, I would like to wish all our fellow citizens and especially our patients and medical staff a Happy Easter.