The Cabinet of Ministers adjourned at noon today, but not before approving a set of new relaxed covid measures put forth by the Scientific Advisory Committee after yesterday's assessment and meeting with the Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipandelas.
According to the latest announcement by the Minister of Health, the following will apply:
a) from 11 April 2022, the use of a protective mask outdoors is no longer mandatory.
b) from 11 April 2022, the Safe Pass will no longer be required in workplaces, in compliance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. A self-test is recommended in case of symptoms. Employees in nursing homes, closed structures, hospitals, medical centers and health professionals are excluded.
c) from 18 April 2022, the Safe Pass is no longer required in retail trade areas and shopping malls (excluding restaurants within shopping malls).
d) from 11 April 2022, persons in quarantine after a covid infection will no longer need to test on the 7th day in order to be released. It is understood that the person can exit quarantine on the 7th day without approval from the government so long as they show no symptoms. Infected persons in quarantine may be released on the 5th day only if they test negative with a rapid or PCR test, the cost of which will be borne by that person. The measure will be applied to existing cases beginning April 11, 2022. Special regulations apply to closed structures, nursing homes and hospitals.
e) from 11 April 2022, persons deemed as close contacts who are required to self-isolate (depending on vaccination status) will be allowed to end self-isolating on the 5th day instead of the 7th provided that they show no active symptoms. Tests done on the 3rd and 5th days are still required. The measure will be applied in existing cases on April 11, 2022.
f) from 11 April 2022, the time period for the "test to stay" measure (where applicable) is now reduced to 5 days, from 7 days . The measure will be applied in pre-existing cases on April 11, 2022. Students who are deemed close contacts within the family are excluded from the use of the "test to stay" measure.
g) from 11 April 2022, the "test to stay” measure will be applied to extracurricular and evening activities for students.
h) from 11 April 2022, the Safe Pass will no longer be required in companies that serve the public, as well as the Departments/Services of the state and the wider public sector, also including archeological sites, museums, historical sites, art galleries, construction sites and companies of similar activity, in popular markets, bazaars and popular festivals.
i) from 11 April 2022, theaters and cinemas can now run on 100% of capacity.
j) from 11 April 2022, teleworking is recommended at a rate of 25% in companies and organizations, the public and wider public sector, as well as in local state offices.
k) from 11 April 2022, patient visits at public and private hospitals are allowed only by submitting a 24-hour Rapid Antigen Test (1 person per visit).
l) from May 2, 2022, students must present a negative 48-hour Rapid Antigen Test upon their return to school, with a follow-up rapid test on day 7.
m) from 11 April 2022, group camps will be allowed to operate with the presentation of a Safe Pass.
n) from April 15, 2022, announcements regarding covid positive cases, deaths and hospitalizations will be done on a weekly basis.
The statements of the Minister of Health
Ladies and gentlemen,
The message of the Council of Ministers has been clear all this time: "We trust science and we urge the citizens to follow in its footsteps faithfully." We continue to do the same.
The new measures aim to improve the quality of our daily lives, without jeopardizing the gradual and complete lifting of restrictions.
However, we must all show individual responsibility and responsible behavior. To faithfully follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health and the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee.
Today's announcement of relief measures must not be misinterpreted and send the wrong message.
The coronavirus is still here! It is still scattered throughout the community. That is why 200 of our fellow citizens are treated in the hospitals of OKYPY with COVID.
Experts insist that the coronavirus is not a simple cold.
The word "respect" is the key to a new era of pandemic control. First of all, respect for ourselves. And then, respect for our fellow human beings, respect for the rules.