NewsLocalAmid objections, SafePass presentation mandatory as of Friday in almost all gathering...

Amid objections, SafePass presentation mandatory as of Friday in almost all gathering places

With Covid-19 infections continuing to rise alarmingly in Cyprus, presenting a SafePass becomes mandatory in almost all gathering places as of Friday.

However, owners of hospitality and entertainment venues keep sending the message that the implementation of the measure is the sole responsibility of the police or other government body and not theirs.

At the same time, with the positivity rate standing at 2.16% health experts are warning that vaccinated people should not let their guard down.

General secretary of Pancyprian Restaurants’ & Entertainment Owners Association [PASIKA] Fanos Leventis has said that a delegation will have a meeting on Friday with the Minister of Health to explain the reasons why they consider the SafePass policing obligation unreasonable.

However, insiders said the government is not prepared to withdraw the measure, nor does it intend to entrust controls solely to the police or other members of the state machinery.

Because that would mean that a very large number of staff would be required. However, state and local government officials will continue to help control the implementation of the measures.

The Commissioner for Personal Data Protection now backs the government and considers the new measures as legal.

The new measures will be in effect till July 31 in a bid to minimise the possibility of the virus transmission in all places where a large number of people gather.

According to the decree, the maximum permitted number of people indoors will be 250 after presenting a safe-pass, or 350 provided they have received at least one vaccination jab three weeks ago or had contracted the virus in the past six months.

At the same time, the maximum number of people permitted in outdoor venues will be 350 with a safe-pass or 500 if they have received at least one dose of a vaccine or had been ill with Covid in the past six months.

Youths aged between 12 and 15 and those 16 and above with serious illnesses that prevent them from receiving a vaccine are exempted and can enter such venues by presenting a negative test conducted not more than 72 hours before.

The measures include restaurants, event halls, nightclubs, live music venues, bars, cinemas, theatres, places of worship, and sports facilities apart from football stadiums.

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