"The rapid deterioration of epidemiological data recorded in Cyprus in recent weeks due to the predominance of the Omicron variant leaves us no room for complacency. As the Ministry of Health, we are constantly on the alert, and we have been evaluating all scientific and/or epidemiological data together with the Scientific Advisory Committee. We want to protect and safeguard the health of all our citizens, especially those in vulnerable groups, while ensuring the least amount of disruption to our communities.
"With a positive rate of more than 3% and more than 28 thousand cases since the last meeting of the Council of Ministers, OKYPY hospitals are working tirelessly to respond to the increased number of hospitalizations, a fact that we take seriously since the protection of public health is a key factor in every decision we make.
"Following the suggestions of the scientists, it was necessary to take further protective measures in schools in order to allow them to remain open and to detect the positive cases of coronavirus early on without depriving students of their basic right to education."
The new measures decided upon by the Council of Ministers today:
(a) from 17 January to 16 February 2022, the inclusion of the “test to stay” measure in Primary and Secondary education, with the aim of keeping schools operational and detecting positive coronavirus cases in a timely manner. Close contacts of confirmed cases that have no history of vaccination, instead of being restricted, will undergo daily rapid tests for a period of 5 days. This decision concerns only the students and the Rapid test will be carried out by the mobile units of the Ministry of Health at schools.
(b) from 13 January 2022, the ban on visits to nursing homes and enclosed structures will be lifted. However, entry will only be allowed to 1) persons who have completed their vaccination program, whose passes are valid up to 7 months after their last dose, or 2) have a Covid recovery certificate, valid for 90 after recovery, or 3) have received the booster/3rd dose. All visitors must present a negative rapid antigen test (Rapid test) on the same day of the visit.
(c) from 14 January at 5:00 am, passengers traveling to the Republic of Cyprus have the option of presenting either a 72-hour PCR laboratory test or a 24-hour Rapid antigen detection test before departure. Passengers who previously tested positive for covid can travel to Cyprus only if 10 days have passed from the date they were tested positive. PCR tests upon arrival into the Republic for passengers 12 and over will be in force until January 31, 2022. In addition, a rapid test 72 hours after arrival is still required for all passengers 12 and over arriving into the Republic despite their vaccination history. Those who have had the booster/3rd dose of the vaccine are exempted.
(d) all existing measures have been extended to 31 January 2022.