The parents of a young child in need of surgery got vaccinated in Cyprus on Thursday after being told they could not fly to Germany for treatment unless they got jabbed, but it was still not clear whether the order was based on medical or travel policy.
Local media in Cyprus reported on Thursday that the parents of a 3-year-old child suffering from severe heart disease and needing additional surgery abroad were told that the family could not travel due to their unvaccinated status.
Reports did not make clear who had issued the order to cancel the flight at the last minute, but local media suggested the hospital in Germany demanded both mother and father be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
But additional reports said in summer 2021 both child and parents traveled to the German clinic in question after being issued visas from the Consulate in Nicosia to travel for ongoing treatment.
A statement from the German embassy in Nicosia said a visa had already been issued for the family some months ago and pointed to regulations concerning the Corona pandemic, saying “Federal States have their own regulations with regards to COVID-19 and issue restrictions for protection purposes.”
“Furthermore, hospitals and nursing homes can restrict access for visitors and family members of patients,” the statement said, citing a need to protect other patients and vulnerable groups.
The German embassy also said it was following the case and was standing by to help the child and family in any possible way, adding “each case has to be considered on its own merits.”
It was understood that this week’s visit had been scheduled two months in advance, with Cypriot officials insisting the parents knew about vaccination requirements
“We share the worries about the well-being of the child and understand the importance of a swift medical assistance,” the statement said.
It was understood that this week’s visit had been scheduled two months in advance, with Cypriot officials insisting the parents knew about vaccination requirements.
But current pandemic rules in Germany state that entry is possible for people traveling from EU member states, while travelers over the age of six must produce proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result, with full vaccination being only necessary for those traveling from other non-EU countries and high risk areas according to the latest information available online.
Cypriot health ministry officials say they were notified one day before the ambulance flight that the child could not be admitted to the German clinic due to unvaccinated parents, who would need to be present to sign waiver forms.
According to health ministry’s permanent secretary Christina Yiannaki, an attempt then to send the child to Israel failed, wth the official saying it would still be preferable to stick with the same hospital in Germany.
“I have a principle that you should get surgery at the place where you went the last time,” Yiannaki said.
Sources told Knews the couple had been issued German visas in the past through “fairly simple procedures” and traveled to the clinic for treatment, while noting that travel restrictions might differ from state to state within the federation.
“Vaccination status is not something that would have affected travel documents,” the source said, adding that different guidelines during the pandemic could affect how someone could travel and rules are subject to change any time.
Reports said the parents got jabbed with the first of two doses of a vaccine, but Yiannaki said she had recommended a single-dose vaccine to speed things up.
The German embassy said they hoped that a “solution will be found as soon as possible in order to help the child and its family in the best possible way.”
“In such humanitarian cases, the Federal Republic of Germany is always willing to help and give support,” the statement added.