With the extension of the current decree for another month and the start of vaccination of children aged 12 and over, the government intends to improve the epidemiological picture of Cyprus, with the Minister of Health making relevant announcements yesterday, after the end of the Council of Ministers. He once again appealed to citizens, and especially young people, for vaccination, noting that the only way to stop the pandemic and prevent new, more aggressive mutations from occurring is vaccination. The numbers recorded by patients in the Intensive Care Units are unprecedented, with the government looking for solutions to avoid the worst. Safepass is one of the tools used by the government to control the epidemiological picture of the country, and after it seemed to work, it is being extended to all indoor and outdoor areas. At the same time that the Vaccination Portal for children aged 12-15 opens from next Monday, while the citizens who choose not to be vaccinated will have to pay from tomorrow to undergo rapid tests. The program of free rapid tests for the general population is abolished, despite the objections of epidemiologists and the Commissioner of Administration, while now through the sampling points will be able to examine those who can not be vaccinated due to medical problems, and some other special categories of citizens. Both the abolition of the free program and the extension of the safe pass mandatory measure are an indirect way of putting pressure on citizens who have not been vaccinated to do so.
Based on what the Council of Ministers decided yesterday, the previous decree issued on July 8, 2021 by the Minister of Health is extended until August 31. In other words, the suspension of the operation of the camps, the 10 people per table in restaurants and the mandatory presentation of safepass in all indoor and outdoor areas remains in force. The following shall be added to the measures in force:
- Reduction of the maximum number required for the safepass demonstration from 20 people to 10 people, including employees of the premises / company.
- Mandatory safepass demonstration by all persons aged 12 years and over, including patients, visitors and staff, for admission to OKYPY hospitals and private hospitals.
- Mandatory demonstration of a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or recovery certificate within the last 180 days or a negative 72-hour PCR test result from all persons 12 years of age and older, including staff and visitors, to enter nursing homes and more closed structures.
- Non-permanent residents entering the Republic through legal gates must undergo a PCR or rapid antigen test from the 7th day of their arrival onwards. Holders of a vaccination or recovery certificate from Covid-19 within the last 180 days are excluded.
- Festivals are allowed only in adjacent places of worship, provided that all attendees have a safe pass, including employees.
- Vaccination starts for people aged 12 and over on Monday, August 2, 2021, with mRNA technology vaccines (Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna), following the recommendation by the Cyprus Pediatric Society and the scientific advisory committee for coronavirus. The vaccination will be voluntary and with the necessary consent of the parents or legal guardians.
- Free rapid antigen test for citizens who cannot be vaccinated due to medical problems, for those vaccinated even with a single dose and for those who have a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within the last 180 days.
Vaccination 12-15 years
Taking into account the recommendations of the Cyprus Pediatric Society and the advisory scientific committee of the Ministry of Health, and in an effort to increase the vaccination of the population, the Council of Ministers approved the proposal to extend vaccination to minors aged 12-15 years. The Vaccination Portal will be available for appointment scheduling for all people aged 12 and over from 7:30 a.m. on Monday, August 2nd. In the previous days, there may have been some objections within the epidemiological group regarding the vaccination of children aged 12-14, however, it seems that these were reduced after the public position in favor of vaccination by the board of the Cyprus Pediatric Society. As stated in relevant statements by the president of the Pediatric Society, Dr. Michalis Anastasiadis, it is time to further shield immunity in this age group, reminding that there are children who belong to vulnerable groups, and the goal is to protect them. Already in several countries of the European Union, such as France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania and Greece, from today they proceed with the vaccination of children aged 12-15, with Mr. Hadjipandella emphasizing that this is done in a effort to achieve greater protection of the population. The ultimate goal of this measure is to minimize the chances of outbreaks in schools with the start of the new school year next September.
According to information from “P”, the Minister of Health analyzed before the Council of Ministers the epidemiological situation in which Cyprus is in the last days, while he also conveyed the concerns of epidemiologists about the detection of cases in nursing homes. In fact, in the last few days, cases have been identified in elderly people who have been vaccinated, a fact that brings back to the fore the question of whether these citizens should immediately receive a third dose of vaccine. As long as there is no relevant recommendation from Coreper or the ECDC, the Council of Ministers can not take any decision. In addition, there was a proposal before the Council of Ministers for a PCR laboratory examination every 48 hours for employees in nursing homes and closed structures who choose not to be vaccinated, which, however, was not adopted.
Points for free Rapid test on Saturday 31 July (Catalog)
Cyprus / Covid19: Three deaths and 635 cases from 74,122 tests – 279 patients hospitalized