The Republic of Cyprus has unveiled its latest measures against the spread of the coronavirus for the remainder of the year, including mandatory masks for students and optional repeat tests for travelers.
According to local media, the President’s Cabinet met on Friday at the presidential retreat on Troodos Mountain where it decided on a series of measures that will go into effect and remain through 15 January 2021. The meeting was called following concerns from the health ministry that had been calling for a better, more comprehensive set of measures against COVID-19.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, who made a statement to the press on Friday afternoon after the meeting, called on the people of Cyprus to show understanding and cooperation.
“The effort must continue until the risk is eliminated entirely, with the vaccine, something which is not expected over the course of the next few months,” the minister said.
'The effort must continue until the risk is eliminated entirely, with the vaccine, something which is not expected over the course of the next few months'
Ioannou said travelers, including passengers who test negative at the airport upon returning to the island, will be encouraged to have a repeat test seven days later, even if their initial test was negative. Those who experience symptoms within their first week of return should talk to their doctor sooner, Ioannou added.
Among the latest decisions on public health measures, there is a limit of 50 people in social gatherings in houses and other spaces of private or public use. That number jumps to 350 guests for dinners at weddings and christenings,while it falls back down to 250 during receptions in such big events.
A limit of 50 people also applies to reception events and snack breaks during professional and academic conferences, while restaurants and eatery establishments will see limits set at 150 people indoors and 250 people outdoors.
Bans will continue to be in effect for festivals and concerts in stadiums, parks, church courtyards, as well as other venues including street festivals, while exceptions include open-air amphitheatres that operate on specific health protocols.
Students going back school will also be required to use face masks, while Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou clarified that appropriate spatial arrangements would take place to accommodate updated protocols and any recommendations.
During the press conference, the health minister also addressed the vaccine situation, clarifying that COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered free of charge.