New measures to deal with the spread of the coronavirus were announced today by the Minister of Health, Michalis Hadjipandela.
The Council of Ministers have decided:
(a) all public and private schools of Primary and Secondary education will resume normal operations on January 10, 2022, as announced in a previous decision by the Council of Ministers. We remind everyone that all students, teachers and other staff, upon their return, must submit a negative rapid test valid for 48 hours. Pre-school, kindergartens and nurseries will resume normal operations from January 7, 2022
(b) from 10 January 2022, primary school students in private and public schools must submit a negative rapid test twice a week
(c) from 6 January 2022, gatherings in houses will be limited to 10 persons, not including children up to 12 years old
(d) from 10 January 2022, restaurants, entertainment venues, music and dance centers, weddings and baptisms will be allowed to have up to 200 people only, in line with health protocols and the maximum number of persons per square meter that is in force. Only seated table service is allowed with a maximum number of 8 customers per table. Dancing is prohibited in the above areas
(e) from 6 January 2022, up to 200 persons may attend mass at churches and places of worship. With regards to celebrations during Epiphany Day, indoor or outdoor, citizens are obliged to wear a protective mask and keep necessary distances. We recommended avoiding the use of a fabric protective mask.
(f) from 6 January 2022, people will be required to present proof of identification (identity card, passport, driving license) when SafePasses are checked at venues where it is required.
(g) from 10 January 2022, teleworking will increase to a rate of 50%
(h) from 10 January 2022, accommodation and visits to hotels/tourist lodgings will only be allowed to people who have started or completed their vaccination course. Moreover, the time period required to receive the 2nd or 3rd dose must not have elapsed
(i) the provision of 5 self-tests to persons aged 12 years and over who have completed their vaccination course
(j) from 6 January 2022, close contacts, regardless of history of vaccination or disease, must submit a rapid antigen or PCR laboratory test on the 3rd and 5th day after the last date of contact with the case
(k) from 6 January 2022, residents of nursing homes, retirement homes or residential care facilities, in general, must remain in place and are not allowed external/outdoor visits, excursions or overnight stays
(l) from 6 January 2022, the mandatory quarantine of passengers coming from the countries of South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana and other relevant countries will be lifted.
(m) from 6 January 2022, those arriving in the Republic of Cyprus and refusing to undergo a PCR laboratory test will be placed in state quarantine for a period of 14 days. They may be released on the 7th day if results from a PCR laboratory test show negative. The costs of quarantine and examination will be borne by the citizen
(n) from 6 January 2022, all passengers aged 12 and over arriving in the Republic of Cyprus must have undergone a PCR laboratory test within the last 72 hours before their departure for the Republic.
(o) these measures will be in effect until 31 January 2022
The statement of the Minister of Health
Ladies and gentlemen,
The predominance of the Omicron variant has been confirmed. Millions of cases are detected every day around the world, and inevitably, the detection has begun in our country as well. The increased transmissibility of Omicron in relation to the Delta variant brought a record of cases, but the Health System of our Homeland endures! And it will continue to endure, if all together, we join forces for the common good.
Yesterday, five of our fellow citizens died of COVID-19, two of them at a young age. We will never tire of saying and emphasizing that health is the most valuable asset, but life itself is the most important. Human life can not be negotiable! That is why we will continue the effort at all levels.
Yesterday, the President of the Republic listened carefully to the members of the Advisory Scientific Committee when they explained the epidemiological picture of the country. The Council of Ministers today approved the suggestions of the experts who are all hoping to stop the pandemic.
The message of the Council of Ministers is clear. We must trust science and support teamwork.
There is no other way!
Doctors and scientists cannot defeat the pandemic on their own. They have done their duty by offering humanity the necessary "weapons", but the pandemic can only be defeated by humans, ordinary citizens following the instructions of the scientific and medical community.
We will defeat the pandemic using the effective supplies at our disposal: Utilizing life-saving vaccines and reverently following protection measures to limit the spread of the virus. Only then will the big step be taken to get rid of the biggest scourge that has plagued the planet in the last two years.