Cyprus’ Council of Ministers decided on Wednesday the implementation of the “test to stay” measure in primary and secondary schools from January 17 until February 16, 2022, so that schools will remain open and COVID-19 cases will be traced in a timely manner.
Moreover, the Cabinet decided to lift as of January 13, 2022, the restriction of visits to homes for the elders and closed structures. Entrance to these places will be allowed only to persons who have concluded their vaccination scheme within the last seven months, or have a COVID-19 recovery certificate, as long as not more than 90 days passed since they had the virus, or have taken the booster dose. All visitors must present a negative result of a rapid test carried out on the same day.
Also the Council of Ministers decided that as of January 14, 0500 local time, those who travel to Cyprus may present either a negative result of a PCR test done within the last 72 hours or a negative result of a rapid test carried out within the last 24 hours.
Decisions were announced by Health Minister, Michael Hadjipantela, who said in his statement that the rapid worsening of the epidemiological indicators in Cyprus during the last weeks due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant does not leave any room for complacency.
He noted that the Health Ministry remains vigilant and evaluates all scientific and epidemiological data along with the Advisory Scientific Committee, adding that their objective is to safeguard the society and protect the health of all citizens and particularly the vulnerable groups of the population.
Hadjipantela said that as the positivity rate remains over 3% and there were more than 28 thousand positive cases since the latest meeting of the Council of Ministers, the hospitals of the State Health Services Organisation work non-stop in order to respond to the increased number of hospitalizations.
Referring to the “test to stay” measure introduced in schools, the Minister said that instead of getting into isolation the close contacts of confirmed cases, irrelevant of their vaccination history, will take a rapid test every day for a period of 5 days. The decision concerns only pupils.
The Minister said that the Council of Ministers also decided that as of January 13, 2022, the restriction of visits to the homes for the elders and closed structures will be lifted. Entrance to these places will be allowed only to persons who have concluded their vaccination scheme within the seven last months, or have a COVID-19 recovery certificate, as long as not more than 90 days passed since they had the virus, or have taken the booster dose. All visitors must present a negative result of a rapid test carried out on the same day.
Moreover, Hadjipantela said that as of January 14, 2022, 0500 local time, passengers travelling to Cyprus will be able to present a negative result of either a PCR test done within the last 72 hours or a rapid test done carried out within the last 24 hours.
In case someone is positive 10 days must pass since the date of the sample-taking which gave a positive result so that this person can travel to Cyprus.
Until January 31, 2022, all passengers aged 12 years old and over must take a PCR test upon their arrival to the Republic of Cyprus airports and a rapid test 72 hours after their arrival, except those who had the booster dose.
The Council of Ministers also decided the extension of the measures that are in place until January 31, 2022.