Minister of Health, Michael Hadjipandela, made statements following the Cabinet meeting today, followed by a further briefing by the communication officer of the Ministry of Health, Constantinos Athanasiou.
As has been said in previous days, the issue of the abolition of the use of protective masks indoors, the conduct and frequency of rapid antigen detection tests and the protocol for the return of pupils to schools and classrooms were scrutinized by the Council of Ministers and the following decisions have been announced:
(a) from 31 August 2022, the suspension of the obligation to wear a protective mask indoors, except in high-risk areas such as hospitals, nursing homes, closed structures for vulnerable groups, health care facilities (outpatient clinics, medical and diagnostic centers, pharmacies, rehabilitation centers), pharmacies and public transport.
- The use of masks is recommended in places where many people congregate, for people belonging to vulnerable groups of the population and for people who interact with high-risk persons.
(b) by 31 August 2022, the increase of capacity in restaurants, entertainment centers, retail establishments, shopping centers, shopping centers, churches, places of worship, conferences, trade fairs, stadiums and casinos to 100% of their capacity.
(c) the free distribution of one pack of self-diagnosis tests (5 self-tests) to children attending primary education (pre-primary education).
- It is stressed that the pack will be distributed to pupils at the beginning of the school year.
The Council of Ministers recommends the following protocols:
(a) That all students, teachers and staff of all school units (kindergarten, elementary and high school), before returning to school, undergo a self-diagnosis test (self-test) or rapid antigen detection test (Rapid test).
- It is emphasized that sampling points of the Ministry of Health will conduct random spot checks in school units in all provinces.
(b) As all citizens regardless of vaccination coverage undergo a self-diagnosis (self-test) or rapid antigen detection (Rapid test) test once a week.
The Cabinet also approved a 15% increase in the incentive paid to beneficiaries of the Incentive Plan for HIV-positive people.