Business establishments in the Republic of Cyprus are now inspecting Safe Pass documents presented at the entrance by customers, who are also required by emergency law to show proof of identity when the employee at the door doubts the veracity of a person’s identity.
A new decree issued by the health ministry went into effect on Tuesday, July 20, with new measures and protocols in dining, entertainment, and shopping venues, such as restaurants, pubs, retail stores, casinos, athletic establishments, nightclubs, schools, churches, theaters, and amphitheaters.
Officials confirmed Tuesday morning that the decree authorizes employees and door greeters tasked with checking documents at the entrance to request and inspect proof of identity, such as ID card or passport, in order to match the person to the Safe Pass document.
According to an official who was a guest on state radio Tuesday morning, the inspection of ID documents would be warranted only in cases where there is suspicion of fraud.
According to an official who was a guest on state radio Tuesday morning, the inspection of ID documents would be warranted only in cases where there is suspicion of fraud
Last week, officials said they were also concerned over fake text messages about rapid test results, after the health ministry received complaints about the authenticity of SMS used as Safe Pass to gain access to specific areas.
A Safe Pass legally requires people over the age of 12 to have in possession physical proof they have been vaccinated with at least one dose three weeks prior, tested negative for the coronavirus during a rapid or PCR test conducted in the last 72 hours, or officially cleared by state authorities no more than six months since the last time they tested positive for COVID.
Safe Pass is not required for mini markets, convenience stores, standalone small shops, or small stores within shopping malls where the total number of people including employees does not reach above 20.
The move comes as a response to a surge in COVID cases thought to be primarily associated with the Delta variant as well as an increase in hospitalizations.
Health authorities announced five deaths attributed to COVID on Monday, along with 1056 new cases and 228 hospitalizations. The positivity rate stood at 1.52%, while 56 hospitalized patients were said to be in serious condition.
Officials said a 35-year-old male was among the people who lost their lives on Monday due to the virus, along with three males aged in their late 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s respectively, and a female in her early 90’s.
The Cypriot government has stopped providing vaccination details on hospital deaths attributed to a coronavirus infection, citing privacy concerns as well as the difficulty of providing a full picture out of complicated medical histories.
But health ministry spokesperson Margarita Kyriakou made an exception on Tuesday, saying the 35-year-old male who passed away had been unvaccinated.
Kyriacou, who was a guest on a morning news show on state radio, also confirmed official reports that the man had been suffering from other serious medical conditions.