New measures concerning Schools, arrivals to Cyprus and Care Homes

Announcement by the Minister of Health, Mr. Michalis Hadjipantelas, on the decisions of the Council of Ministers

The rapid deterioration of the epidemiological indicators recorded in Cyprus in recent weeks due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant leaves us no room for complacency. As the Ministry of Health, we are constantly vigilant, and we evaluate all scientific and/or epidemiological data together with the Advisory Scientific Committee. Our guiding principle is the safest operation of society, aiming at the protection and protection of the health of all our citizens and especially of our vulnerable groups. With a positivity rate consistently above 3% and with more than 28 thousand cases since the last meeting of the Council of Ministers, the hospitals of the CySEC are working tirelessly to respond to the increased number of hospitalizations, a fact that we take seriously into account, since the protection of public health is a key factor in our every decision. Following the recommendations of the scientists, at this stage it was deemed necessary to take further protective measures in school units, with the aim of keeping schools in operation and detecting positive cases of coronavirus in a timely manner, without depriving students of the basic right to education.

Therefore, the Council of Ministers in today’s meeting decided:

(a) from January 17 to February 16, 2022, the inclusion of the “test to stay” measure in Primary and Secondary Education, with the aim of schools to remain in operation and to detect positive cases of coronavirus in a timely manner. Close contacts of confirmed cases that have no history of vaccination, instead of being placed in confinement, will undergo rapid antigen tests daily for a period of 5 days. This decision concerns only students and rapid antigen tests will be carried out by the mobile units of the Ministry of Health that will visit the schools.

(b) from 13 January 2022, the lifting of the ban on visits to nursing homes and closed facilities, with entry to those premises being allowed only to persons who have completed their vaccination program and the period of 7 months has not elapsed, or who hold a certificate of disease and the 90-day period has not elapsed; or received the booster/3rd dose, provided that they present a negative rapid antigen test of the same day.

(c) from 14 January at 5:00 a.m., as accepted for travel purposes to the Republic of Cyprus, either a 72-hour PCR laboratory test or a rapid antigen rapid test within 24 hours is accepted for travel purposes to the Republic of Cyprus. In addition, in the case of positive cases, at least 10 days must have elapsed since the date of sampling of a positive result to travel to the Republic of Cyprus. It is recalled that by 31 January 2022, all passengers over 12 years of age will have to perform a PCR laboratory test upon arrival at the airports of the Republic of Cyprus and after 72 hours from their arrival, a Rapid antigen detection test, with the exception of those who received the booster/3rd dose of vaccine.

(d) the extension of all existing measures until 31 January 2022.

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