Answers to frequently asked questions about what is changing from 1 February as part of the strategy to lift restrictive measures to stop the pandemic – 27 January 2021.
- What time does the travel ban apply?
The curfew is still in effect from 9 pm until 5 am the next day.
- Why are you allowed to travel during curfew hours (9pm to 5am the next day)?
The movement of persons during curfews continues to be allowed for the following reasons:
- for work purposes to and from the workplaces with the presentation of Form A, completed and signed by the employer and which certifies the need to travel during the above hours.
- for urgent and urgent purposes, ie to go to a medical center or hospital or pharmacy or veterinarian for medical emergencies and to go to the emergency room for people who are unable to self-care or who have to self-protect.
- How many times per day will exceptional travel be allowed?
Exceptional travel will be allowed twice a day by texting 8998 for the cases referred to in question 5. Persons over the age of 65 may use Form B for their exceptional travel.
It is clarified that for the purposes of going to and from work for work purposes the sending of sms is not required, but the employee must present the Form A, signed by his employer.
- How many categories for exceptional travel are there, by sending an SMS ?
9th category for exceptional travel is added, by sending an SMS. Category 9 refers to travel to visit hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons.
- What changes in the other categories for SMS use from February 1st?
According to the decisions, the movement for a visit to a home of up to two (2) people is added to Category 5.
At the same time, in Category 6, the movement for sports purposes on the nature trails of the Department of Forests is removed.
All other Categories remain the same.
- Is movement between Provinces allowed?
Yes, the movement between the Provinces is allowed provided that the purpose for which the movement falls falls into the Categories of SMS use which as a rule does not exceed three (3) hours.
B. Social gatherings:
- Are social gatherings allowed in homes?
Social gatherings in homes are prohibited, with the exception of the visit of up to two (2) people. This measure remains the goal of limiting social contacts and, therefore, recommends that people be in bubbles and reduce unnecessary visits. It is understood that it is forbidden to hold lunch / dinner in houses for weddings and baptisms.
At the same time, it is allowed to be present in houses for the purposes of:
- custody of minors and people with disabilities for the period / duration where the physical presence of parents / guardians is necessary in their workplace (eg babysitters, babysitters, guardians, caregivers, etc.).
- assistance to people who are unable to self-serve (medication, care of people, food supply, etc.). It is understood that such persons should take all measures of personal protection and remain only for a reasonable period of time required for the care of the individual, so as not to put him in danger.
- Which groups of professionals are allowed to go to homes for work purposes?
The presence of professionals in homes for work purposes is allowed only for the following groups of professionals:
- Electricians, plumbers, oil painters, electrical appliance technicians, building contractors, and other technical professionals.
- Domestic helpers.
- Health professionals, such as physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, community nurses, etc., to provide care for the disabled.
- Babysitters, babysitters and kindergarten teachers exclusively for care and custody purposes.
It is emphasized that the presence of the above professionals is allowed only for the reasonable period of time required for the completion of their work. It is understood that in any case the measures of personal protection should be observed, such as the use of a mask, distances, good ventilation, etc.
- Are gatherings allowed in public and private gathering places?
Access and social gatherings to public and private gathering places are prohibited, specifically to squares, parks, dams, picnic areas, marinas, beaches, sidewalks, etc.
Access is only allowed to parks, linear parks and beaches exclusively for physical exercise purposes.
- Is access to the nature trails of the Department of Forests allowed?
Access to the nature trails of the Department of Forests is prohibited both for sports purposes and for other reasons, with immediate effect from the date of issuance of the Decree.
- In which cases is physical exercise / training allowed?
Physical exercise / training is allowed in places where access is allowed under the applicable Decree. In particular, access to parks, linear parks and beaches is allowed only for the purposes of physical exercise or individual sports.
Individuals are entitled to go for physical exercise or individual sports only in parks, linear parks and beaches, provided that they send to 8998 SMS by selecting the number 6, observe the corresponding maximum duration of time (3 hours), and exercise together up to two people , excluding minor children.
With regard to parks, linear parks and beaches, it is understood that the presence of people there is not allowed for any reason other than sports.
It is emphasized that in any place where people are to play sports, they are all obliged to avoid any socialization with other people who do not live permanently in the same house with them.
It is noted that regarding the right of a person to physical sports on the beaches, it is allowed only on the beaches of the Province where this person resides permanently (first residence). Exceptions are persons residing in the Province without easy access to the beach, ie in the Province of Nicosia, who are entitled to go to beaches in other Provinces for physical sports purposes, within a reasonable period of 3 hours.
It is understood that there is a right for people who travel for sports purposes to move away from their home, provided that they will send an SMS with the option number 6 to the number 8998 and that they will observe the maximum time of three (3) hours to which they are entitled.
- Are sacred temples / places of worship allowed to operate?
The Divine Liturgy in the sacred temples / religious places of worship is performed without the presence of believers. From February 8 , the presence of believers in places of religious worship with a maximum number of 50 people is allowed , in compliance with health protocols.
It is clarified that until February 7, the faithful can come to the religious places of worship for individual prayer (simultaneous physical presence of up to 10 people per religious place), provided that the observance of health protocols (distances, masks, maximum number of people) will be ensured.
It is clarified that the presence of believers is also prohibited in the courtyard of the temples / religious places of worship.
E. Businesses / Services:
- Which companies are reopening from February 1st?
From Monday, February 1, hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons and driving schools will reopen.
- Who must undergo a rapid antigen test , according to the Decree?
According to the Decree, all employees in companies that are reactivated from February 1 must undergo a rapid antigen test by January 31.
- Where can I get a rapid antigen test if I work in a company that is reopening?
To serve the employees, the Ministry of Health conducts a free screening program with antigenic tests in all Provinces. The locations and opening hours of the sampling units will be announced daily by the Ministry of Health.
- How long does the rapid test result have ? Should it be repeated by employees?
The result of the rapid test is valid for seven (7) days, unless in the meantime the person shows symptoms or is characterized by contact and the protocol specified by the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit should be followed.
The employer / company is responsible for coordinating the re-examination of employees, so that at any time and on a weekly basis they have a rapid test in force as defined below:
- Businesses / services that employ up to 3 people, the audit should be done on all employees.
- Businesses / services employing from 4 to 10 people, the audit should be done on at least 4 employees.
- Businesses / services that employ more than 10 people, the audit should be done on at least 4 people or 20% of employees, whichever is greater in number.
- How will private service companies operate?
From February 1, the percentage of employees is increased from 25% to 50%, with a minimum number of 5 employees, if the employer so wishes, and without limitation of the maximum number of employees.
It is understood that if a company operates in more than one building, the physical presence of employees not exceeding 50% of each premises is allowed .
For companies co-located in the same building, the physical presence of employees is allowed, which does not exceed 50% of each legal entity (ie of each company).
The rest of the staff works through teleworking at home.
- How are service companies affected by the rapid test employee screening program ?
Employees who will return to work on February 1 due to the increase of the physical presence rate from 25% to 50%, must undergo a test with rapid antigen test by January 31.
At the same time, the employer should ensure the weekly mandatory check as described in question 16.
- What are the service hours for people over 65 and people with disabilities in food retailers?
Pharmacies, supermarkets, mini-markets, fruit shops, butchers, fishmongers and grocery stores, from the time of their opening until 9 am , serve only people over 65 and people with disabilities.
- What about car washes?
Car washes work for internal and external washing of vehicles.
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