Cabinet on Wednesday decided new measures to curb the spread of COVID in the community, following the increase in cases and hospitalizations the last days.
The measures, which were announced by Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas, take effect January 6th.
Hadjipantelas said that we need to trust the science and show support to the collective work.
He said that schools, both public and private, will reopen on January 10. Students, teachers and staff need to show a negative rapid test of 48 hours upon their return. Moreover, all students need to have a negative rapid test twice a week.
From tomorrow, January 6th, there is a limit of 10 persons at house gatherings (kids up to 12 years old not included). From January 10th there is a limit of 200 persons capacity at food places, night clubs, weddings and christenings, with all protocols in place .
Customers will be served at tables only and there is a limit of 8 persons per table, while dancing is forbidden.
The capacity in churches is limited to 200 people from January 6th and as regards the Epiphany celebrations, the Minister said that measures need to be taken and protocols need to be followed for gatherings outdoors, while citizens need to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. He also said that people are advised not to wear a cloth mask.
An identification paper will be required along with the safepass from January 6th.
The percentage of people working remotely is increased to 50% from January 10. Accommodation and/or visit to hotels and other tourist lodgings will be allowed only to people who have concluded or started their vaccination scheme and the period for their 2nd or booster shot has not elapsed. This measure is put into effect January 10th.
Citizens 12 and over who have concluded their vaccination scheme will be distributed another self test kit.
Close contacts of confirmed cases, regardless if they are vaccinated or not, will have to undergo a rapid test or PCR on the 3rd and 5th day since the last day of contact with the case. This measure comes into effect January 6th.
Νοone is allowed to leave a nursing home and closed structure from January 6th.
Passengers from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini , Zimbabwe, Mizambique, Malawi and Botswana will no longer have to stay in quarantine as figures show that omicron variant is now detected in other countries.
The Minister said that all passengers arriving to Cyprus January 6th onwards, who refuse to undergo a PCR at the airport, will be transported to isolation facilities for 14 days and they will have to pay the cost. They can exit the isolation on the 7th day with a negative PCR which they have to pay for.
All passengers are reminded that they need to have a negative PCR test of 72 hours before their departure.
All measures are into place until the end of January.
The Health Minister in his statements said that doctors and scientists alone cannot defeat the pandemic and they made their duty by providing us with the means to fight it, but we need to change our behavior and follow the measures.
He also said that we have the vaccines that can save lives and along with all other measures and advise by the specialists we can assist in curbing the spread.