Fresh anti-coronavirus restrictions in Cyprus were announced on Wednesday but the maximum number of people allowed to gather in private houses for Christmas and New Year celebrations remained at 20 – despite an anticipated drop.
However, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas advised people to get tested for coronavirus before such gatherings.
Faced with spiraling Covid-19 infections and the spread of the new Omicron variant all employed people will have to present a negative weekly PCR or rapid test before being allowed into their workplace – as of Wednesday. Exempted are those who have received a booster dose.
In addition, as from January 31, 2022, the validity period for a SafePass issued after recovery from a coronavirus infection is to be halved from six to three months.
The Council of Ministers also decided on Tuesday to push back the reopening of schools after the two-week Christmas holiday from January 7 to January 10, the Minister also said.
On returning to class, all pupils and school staff must present a 72-hour negative rapid antigen test, he added.
As of Wednesday and until January 6, unvaccinated children aged 12 to 17 will be required to have a 72-hour negative test before being allowed into restaurants, cafes, and bars, as well as wedding parties. They must also be accompanied by a vaccinated parent or guardian.
Moreover, the public health system began on Tuesday distributing free kits containing five rapid self-tests, and advised people to take a test before going to meetings or into crowded places.
All previously announced measures, including travel restrictions, will remain in force until January 15, 2022.