NewsLocalCoronavirus "safety pass" system comes in effect in Cyprus

Coronavirus “safety pass” system comes in effect in Cyprus

Cyprus on Monday exited a third partial lockdown with a new coronavirus “safety pass” system to allow people to move freely.

The government is abolishing a system of official approval by text message used to allow people to leave home.

And those wanting to enter hospitality venues will now need to show a Covid certificate that the government has named a “safety pass”.

Those eligible must have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine or contracted the virus in the past six months or have a valid 72-hour negative PCR or rapid test.

Authorities said the pass is a temporary measure, to be enforced until May 31, to help speed up the island’s vaccination rollout in a race to reach herd immunity, with 65 percent of the adult population vaccinated at least once, by end of June.

Although outdoor hospitality and retail shops are to reopen, a night-time curfew will remain in place, effective from 11 pm.

On April 26, Cyprus went into a two-week lockdown as hospitals struggled to cope with surging coronavirus cases.

Cyprus has faced a third wave of Covid-19 infections fuelled by the more contagious British variant, with daily cases peaking at a record 941 last month.

New daily cases have since eased to below 400, as has the test positivity rate.

On Sunday, Cyprus recorded 224 cases, on a record 109,846 Covid tests.

The level dropped to 0.24 per cent which is closer to September 2020 when daily infections were often close to zero.

Freeing up the economy comes as the eastern Mediterranean holiday island welcomes vaccinated tourists without entry curbs from Monday.

The country says it has made significant progress on its vaccination campaign, with people in their twenties now eligible for their first jab from Monday.

The health ministry said Cyprus ranks sixth in the EU for administering the first dose of Covid vaccines.

Up until Saturday, 36 percent of the adult population had received a first jab and 11 percent been fully vaccinated.

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