Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipantela announcing the 7 measures, Source: PIO

Record Covid case numbers prompt tighter restrictions in Cyprus

Record Covid case numbers prompt tighter restrictions in Cyprus

Attendance and capacity limits are introduced, 40 percent of employees must work from home, and arrivals need 2 PCR tests

Amid a record spike in Covid-19 cases and poor compliance with existing mitigation measures (a fact underscored by the Minister of Health), the Cypriot government has decided to introduce a package of 7 new restrictions to prevent infections from overwhelming the island’s hospitals.

Record number of infections since the onset of pandemic

Announcing the measures after an urgent meeting of the Council of Ministers on 29 December, the Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipantela stressed that during the last three days 7,168 positive cases were recorded, which drove the positivity rate to above 2.5 percent. The Omicron variant is already in the community and is expected to further deteriorate the epidemiological situation, Hadjipantela said, as quoted by the government’s press and information office (PIO).

Measures at a glance

The measures enacted by the decision of the Council of Ministers include:

  1. From 4 January to 15 January 2022, passengers arriving in the Republic of Cyprus will need a mandatory 48-hour PCR test taken prior to their departure and another one upon arrival, at their own expense and regardless of vaccination history.
  2. As of 3 January 2022, 40 percent of employees of a company or a service-provider (excluding essential services) must work remotely.
  3. As of 30 December 2021, only vaccinated persons presenting a negative 24-hour rapid test result may get access to entertainment venues, music and dance clubs, reception halls, weddings and christenings. No test is required of those who are booster-jabbed.
  4. As of 30 December 2021, attendance at catering establishments, entertainment venues, dance and music halls, is capped at 300 persons, who must be seated and not dance.
  5. As of 30 December 2021, stadiums may be filled at half capacity, with a mandatory use of face masks for spectators. In case of non-compliance, the stadium’s operation license may be withdrawn.
  6. As of 30 December 2021, visits to all state and private hospitals are prohibited. For urgent and exceptional cases, permission may be given by the management. In this case visitors must present a negative 24-hour PCR test result. Citizens who have received a booster are exempt.
  7. As of 30 December 2021, a change takes effect in Covid-19 management protocols concerning positive cases and close contacts among health professionals. It applies to those who have not been vaccinated, or 7 months have elapsed since completing their vaccination cycle without a booster applied in the meantime. Close contacts will take a PCR test on the 5th day and a rapid test on the 6th day after their contact with the positive case, and if the result turns negative, they will be discharged. Positive cases may undergo a rapid test on the 6th and 7th day. A negative result will lead to a discharge on the 8th day, provided that the medic or nurse has been symptom-free for 48 hours.

The government will review the effect of the above measures on 4 January 2022.



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