The government of the Republic of Cyprus lifted a night curfew on Thursday as further relaxations of pandemic measures kicked in, including the opening of nightclubs based on last-minute protocols.
Based on a decree issued last month by the health minister, aimed at the gradual restart of the economy and social activity frozen due to the coronavirus pandemic, a night curfew for all citizens was lifted on Thursday including the use of a paper form required for the movement of employees.
The latest measures that allow partygoers to visit nightclubs without a curfew came as over half of the adult population eligible for a vaccine got inoculated while confirmed daily cases fell drastically.
The last-minute health protocol for social events prompted some businesses to announce they may not open until the following week as more time was needed for necessary preparations
But Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has also been issuing reminders for the public to be cautious as restrictions were being eased further, citing fears of a setback and the threat of an Indian mutation that is more aggressive and highly contagious.
Nightclubs, reception halls, entertainment centers, and music and dance venues, are now allowed to reopen based on a protocol prepared on Wednesday.
According to a last-minute protocol for nightclubs, guests must have a negative PCR or antigen rapid test valid for 72 hours, or a vaccination certificate for COVID-19 with at least the first dose -provided that three weeks have passed since the date of vaccination- or evidence that a person had been infected with COVID-19 within the last six months.
The health protocol for social events, which states a SafePass is needed for indoor access, prompted some businesses to announce they may not open until the following week as more time was needed for necessary preparations.
Permitted events based on the protocol include dining during social events and functions, such as weddings, christenings, and graduation parties, taking place either in restaurants, hotels, or other event halls.
Maximum numbers of people allowed at these functions include 250 people for indoor dining or 350 for outdoor dining and 250 people at a reception or cocktail party outdoors. Those attending the events must hold a SafePass.
Event organizers for socials functions taking place at home residences are required to send in advance an email for approval to firstname.lastname@example.org, providing proof such as a copy of an invitation as well as information on available square meters of the house to establish the maximum number of SafePass attendees.
All limits on the physical presence of employees in private service companies, as well as governmental departments or public services and wider public sector, are abolished based on the new measures.
But a requirement for 50% of employees taking a weekly rapid test remains in place, with the obligation affecting workers who have not received at least the first dose of a licensed vaccine or are still within three weeks of their vaccination.
Open access to swimming pools as well the organizing of festivities outside churches is also permitted in accordance with guidelines issued by the health ministry.
Recommended guidance is also urging the use of cashless and contactless transactions.