NewsLocal"Safe Pass" system came in effect in lockdown-free Cyprus but not in...

“Safe Pass” system came in effect in lockdown-free Cyprus but not in a smooth way

Cyprus has exited a third partial lockdown but the newly-introduced coronavirus “Safe Pass” system to allow people to move freely was far from a smooth ride, Philenews reported on Tuesday.

Because the need for a valid 72-hour negative PCR or rapid test to enter hospitality and other venues meant long queues outside sites carrying out the tests amidst rising temperatures.

The inconvenience recorded was such that the Health Ministry had to announce around midday testing sites to be avoided because of over-crowding.

People were wondering why the government was not organized enough before announcing this new measure.

On Monday, the government abolished 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 “Safe 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 reopened, a night-time curfew remains 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.

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