Republic of Cyprus - Rules

Postponement of vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine until 18 March 


Pending the opinion of the European Medicines Agency’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), which is investigating a number of cases of blood clots in people who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine in EU member states, it was decided on 15/3/2021 to temporarily postpone vaccinations in Cyprus with the AstraZeneca vaccine until Thursday, 18 March. It is clarified that the scheduled vaccination appointments with Moderna and Pfiser/BioNTech vaccines will be carried out normally. 15.03.2021
http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/15032021_astrazecapostpone.pdf


EMA’s Safety Committee continues investigation of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and thromboembolic events – 15 March 2021
Several Authorities responsible for national vaccine campaigns in EU countries have temporarily paused vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, as a precaution, while EMA investigates several blood clots events in people who had received the vaccine. 


Events involving blood clots, some with unusual features such as low numbers of platelets, have occurred in a very small number of people who received the vaccine. Thousands of people develop blood clots annually. The number of thromboembolic events overall in vaccinated people seems not to be higher than seen in the general population.


EMA is working closely with the company, experts in blood disorders, and other health authorities including the UK’s MHRA based on its experience with around 11 million administered doses of the vaccine. EMA’s investigation has been continuing over the weekend, and rigorous analysis of all the data related to thromboembolic events is planned. Expert are investigating whether the vaccine might have contributed or if the event is likely due to other causes. EMA’s has called an extraordinary meeting on Thursday 18 March to conclude on the information gathered and any further actions that may need to be taken. 


EMA currently considers the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects, and therefore it can continue to be administered while the investigation is ongoing. 


In the meantime, anyone who has received the vaccine and has concerns should contact an appropriate healthcare professional. People who suspect they may have a side effect after vaccination should report this to the national medicine’s regulator, or to a healthcare professional. 


The most common side effects with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are usually mild or moderate and improve within a few days after vaccination. 


http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/15032021--EMA%E2%80%99s%20Safety%20Committee%20continues%20investigation%20of%20COVID-19%20Vaccine%20AstraZeneca%20and%20thromboembolic%20events.pdf

Outdoor areas of catering establishments can reopen as of 16 March 2021, 
 

The following rules apply:

  • The operation of catering establishments is allowed until 10:45 in the evening

  • The catering establishments which are permitted to operate are: 

    • restaurants, taverns, cafes, pubs, snack bars and bars, coffee shops, catering establishments within shopping centres, catering establishments within hotels and tourist accommodation, canteens and / or sports clubs, cultural clubs, clubs, associations, etc.); catering establishments not covered by a roof, permanent or temporary, and catering establishments covered by a roof, with 3 sides permanently open. 

  • The operation and use of bars inside and outside catering establishments is exclusively limited to the preparation of food or drinks by the employees, and direct service from the bar is prohibited, with the exception of cafes, where according to their operation, the public is served directly at the place of preparation of the drinks. The maximum number of persons in the indoor waiting / service line should not exceed 10.

  • The public may be served only in the outdoor areas of catering establishments. The outdoor area is defined as any space that is not indoor or enclosed and has sufficient natural oxygenation. Adequate natural oxygenation exists in every area which:

    • is not covered by a roof, permanent or temporary, and 

    • is covered by a roof, with 3 sides permanently open.

 

  • For outdoor areas, the defined distance is 2m2/person. For example, if a catering establishment has an outdoor area of 400m2, it could serve up to 200 people, provided that the placement of the tables allows this number, in accordance with the protocol.

  • The public may be served, obligatorily and exclusively, while seated at tables (seated only).

  • The maximum number of persons per table is 8. 

  • Employees are obliged to wear a mask throughout the working time (excluding grill cooks). 

  • Compulsory use of a mask by customers at all times in the premises, as well as during movements within the establishment, except for the duration of active eating or drinking. 

  • The operation of playgrounds (indoor or outdoor) in catering establishments is not permitted. 

  • Any kind of music that promotes dancing as well as actual dancing by guests, are forbidden. Guests are not allowed to stand and dance around their table. It should be noted that for a safe reopening, an antigen rapid diagnostic test (rapid test) is mandatory for all catering employees before the reopening and then on a weekly basis, on the basis of the percentage corresponding to the number of employees, as defined by the relevant Decree. 

  • The responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the health protocol and the guidelines and measures in catering establishments is assigned to the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with the Police.

http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/15032021_openingofcateringEN.pdf

12.3.2021 Statement on the decisions of the RoC Council of Ministers


The number of Covid-19 cases, especially in Limassol is increasing and there is an increase in transmission, especially in areas with large crowds, such as primary schools, workplaces (private and public sectors), and within families.  25.7% of the cases are now linked to the British strain of the virus.  Clusters are occurring in all areas among work places, such as services companies, banks, accounting firms, advisory services, human resources departments and the public sector. 


Recent analysis of admissions/hospitalizations indicate most transmissions took place within a family or friendly environment, as well as in workplaces.  The average age has decreased and admissions of healthy younger people who develop severe cardiorespiratory symptoms are occurring.  This is putting a strain on the Health Services.  Non-compliance with restrictions is increasing.


As a result the Council of Ministers has decided the measures should focus on two pillars: 


1. From 16 to 31 March: Measures targeting indoor areas with high transmission risk (offices, primary schools, residences etc.) 

  • The 25% for service-providing businesses is reinstated.  The weekly rapid test programme to cover the 25% of the employees and a simultaneous reinforcement of supervision and checks. 

  • Primary Schools in the District of Limassol will be closed until 31 March. 

  • Gymnasiums will be closed

 

2. Measures to increase citizen compliance while promoting their psychological recovery: 

  • From 15 March, access to squares and parks is allowed for up to 6 persons, facemasks are mandatory from different households. 

  • On Monday, 15 March, access to picnic areas and dams is allowed. 

  • From 16 March, outdoor areas of catering establishments are reopening, but with strict Covid-19 guidelines

  • From 16 March, the curfew start time is extended from 9 pm to 11 pm. 


Everyone, especially those in the District of Limassol in particular, must make every effort to comply with the rules, to avoid the need for addition measures to be re-introduced.


Now vaccinations are available, and the rate of vaccination is accelerating and will accelerate further in the coming weeks hopefully a return to normality will be possible soon. 


Source and full statement: http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/12032021_YpYgeiasdilosiEN.pdf

***End of Statement***

Statement by the Minister of Health, Mr Constantinos Ioannou, on the decisions of the Council of Ministers
The number of cases has stabilised in the past 14 days. The positive rate is ~ 0.5 % with slight fluctuations. The rate still above the safe limit set by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), i.e. 164.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, and remains especially high in Limassol.
The strategy for the gradual lifting of restrictive measures is based on ‘testing – tracing – vaccination’, and ECDC recommendations for close monitoring of virus mutations.


Therefore, the Council of Ministers decided the following, with effect as of Monday, 1 March: 

  • Re-opening of public and private Lyceums and Technical Schools for 1st and 2nd Grade students, with physical presence. 

  • Re-opening of conservatories, tutoring schools, educational centres, and other afternoon facilities, with physical presence of up to two people including the teacher (1 student and 1 teacher). 

  • Re-opening of visual arts centres and galleries, according to the guidelines and the health protocol of the Ministry of Health. 

  • Re-opening of gyms, dance schools and other indoor sports facilities, including swimming pools, based on the instructions and the protocol to be issued by the Cyprus Sports Organization. 

  • Visits to Senior People’s Homes are allowed, under the conditions set by the protocol of the Ministry of Labour. 

  • Team training and matches of professional Division C championships are allowed, under the conditions that apply to professional Division A and B championships and according to the protocols of the Cyprus Football Association and the Cyprus Sports Organization. 

  • Access to nature trails for physical exercise is allowed. 

  • Street vending and flea markets other than food are allowed. 

Additionally, as of Monday, 8 March 2021:

  • Re-opening of all levels of public and private Gymnasiums with the physical presence of pupils.

It is planned from Tuesday, 16 March 2021, catering establishments will re-open under a special protocol and an evaluation of the number of employees working with physical presence at service-providing companies and/or other businesses/sectors will take place.  Further details will be provided next week.

The Vaccination Plan is going according to plan. We have vaccinated 70% of people aged 80 and over, and we are increasing the rate of vaccination of people aged 70 and over. March is a crucial month, we are expecting >160,000 vaccine doses, providing vaccination coverage for vulnerable groups along with vaccination by age group.

 

The vaccine is our only weapon to get out of the health crisis. Delayed vaccination in all countries could give rise to further virus mutations. Hence, we are in a battle with time. In the interim we must maintain the measures of social distancing and personal protection.

Answers to frequently asked questions on what changes as of 1 March, in the framework of the strategic lifting of measures to contain the pandemic (Decisions by the Council of Ministers – 25 Feb. 2021)


Α. Movement:
1. What are the curfew hours? 
Movement continues to be prohibited from 9 in the evening until 5 in the morning of the following day. 


2. Under which circumstances is one allowed to move during curfew hours (9 in the evening to 5 in the morning of the next day)? 
The movement of persons during curfew hours continues to be permitted for the following reasons: 
For purposes of moving to and from workplaces, with the presentation of Form A, completed and signed by the employer, which certifies the necessity for the movement during the aforementioned hours.
For urgent purposes, such as to go to a medical centre or a hospital or a pharmacy or a veterinarian for medical emergencies and to render assistance to people who are unable to care for themselves or who need to self -isolate.


3. How many times per day will movement by exception be permitted?
Movement by exception will be permitted twice a day by sending a text message to 8998 for the reasons cited in Form B. Persons over the age of 65 may use Form B twice per day for their movement by exception.
There are nine (9) categories for movement by exception via a text message. It is clarified that for purposes of moving to and from the workplace for work purposes, no text message is required, but the employee must present Form A, signed by his/her employer. 
Moreover, parents/legal guardians are not required to send a text message for the purposes of transporting a minor or a disabled person to school or a day care center.


4. What changes in the remaining categories for movement by exception via a text message, as of 1 March? 
There is a new addition to Category 5 concerning the movement to visit nursing homes or homes for vulnerable groups. 
For movement to perform individual physical exercise/training at gyms, dance schools and other indoor sports facilities as well as nature trails, a text message must be sent while selecting Category 6. 
For movement to visit organized bazaars at open-air flea markets, a text message must be sent while selecting Category 2.
For movement to visit art spaces and galleries, a text message must be sent while selecting Category 9. All other categories remain the same.


5. Is movement between Districts allowed?
Yes, movement between Districts is permitted provided that the purpose for which the movement takes place falls within the Categories referred to in the text message, which normally does not exceed three (3) hours. 


Β. Social gatherings: 
6. Is access to the nature trails of the Forest Department, allowed? 
Access to the nature trails of the Forest Department is permitted only for physical exercise purposes, provided that a text message is sent to 8998 (category number 6 selected) and that the reasonable timeframe of three (3) hours is upheld. 


C. Training – Sports – Activities: 
7. In what instances is physical exercise/personal training allowed? 
Physical exercise/personal training is permitted in areas where access is allowed in accordance with the Decree in force. Specifically, access is allowed to parks, linear parks, nature trails and beaches only for the purposes of physical exercise/personal training. Persons are allowed to move to the aforementioned areas only for physical exercise or personal training, provided that they send a text message to 8998 while selecting the option number 6, comply with the maximum timeframe allowed (3 hours), and ensure that participants in the exercise/training do not exceed two persons, excluding underage children. As regards parks, linear parks, nature trails and beaches, it is noted that people are allowed to be present there for no other reason besides exercise. It is underlined that in areas where people are present in order to work out, no socialization is allowed with other persons who do not reside in the same residence as them.


8. Do I need to send a text message to go to a sports facility and/or a gym and/or a dance school and/or schools of other sports in order to train? 
Yes, all persons, irrespective of age, wishing to go for training to a sports facility and/or a gym and/or a dance school and/or schools of other sports, must send a text message. For personal training purposes a text message (with option number 6 selected) must be sent to 8998. For minors who do not own a mobile phone, the parent/legal guardian must carry a signed certification for the transportation of the minor to the training/exercise venue. 


9. Is the operation of indoor sports facilities allowed? 
On the basis of the protocol and directions to be issued by the Cyprus Sports Organisation, the operation of indoor sports facilities for all sports is allowed, while taking into consideration the various sizes of indoor sports spaces as follows: 
The exercise shall be performed only for the purposes of personal training with a personal trainer and maintaining a physical distance. 
In indoor sports halls up to 80 sq.m. training can be performed with two persons physically present including the trainer (one to one).
In indoor sports halls of more than 80 sq.m. and up to 200 sq.m. training can be performed with three persons physically present (one to two persons training) 
In indoor sports halls of more than 200 sq.m., training can be performed with five persons physically present (one to four persons training) 


10. What is foreseen for parents who need to transport their underage children for activity purposes allowed according to the Decree? 
Parents/legal guardians transporting their underage children for activity purposes allowed according to the Decree (training, private tutoring schools, educational centres, music schools etc.) must carry a certificate showing the date and time of the child’s activity along with Form B. 5 


11. How will music schools, private tutoring schools, educational centres and other afternoon schools operate?
The operation of the aforementioned venues will be carried out with physical presence of up to two (2) persons, including the educator, namely one student and one teacher. An exception to the one to one rule can be made in the case where the students are siblings. For instance, if two siblings are taking guitar lessons at a music school, then the lesson can be carried out with physical presence of the two students and the teacher, while upholding personal protection measures. 


12. Is the carrying out of a test (PCR or rapid test) obligatory? 
The carrying out of a test (PCR or rapid test) is initially obligatory for all employees of the businesses which are reopening as of 1 March (music schools, private tutoring schools, educational centres, gyms, dance schools, sports facilities, etc). From then on, these employees must get tested on a weekly basis, as is the case for employees in any other business (see question 17). 


13. Are trainings and matches of group sports of the Third Division allowed? 
Group trainings and the carrying out of matches of all the group sports of the Third Division are allowed under the preconditions valid for group sports of the First and Second Divisions, and in accordance with the protocols of the Cyprus Football Association and the Cyprus Sports Organisation. It is understood that the health protocol must be upheld, while the use of changing rooms is only permitted on the day of the match. The teams’ athletes and training/assistant staff must undergo a test (PCR or rapid test) on a weekly basis. 


14. What is foreseen for the trainings of the other Divisions of the professional championships of group sports? 
Athletes of teams participating in the professional championships of group sports are allowed to train, with the participation of a maximum number of five (5) persons including the coach/trainer (4+1) and a maximum number of three (3) teams per field facility. The athletes and training/assistant staff of the teams must undergo a test (PCR or rapid test) on a weekly basis. 
15. Who is responsible to oversee the implementation of the measures? 
The responsibility to oversee the implementation of the measures lies with the Cyprus Sports Organisation and the competent Federations. 


D. Rapid tests: 
16. Who must undergo an antigen rapid test?
All employees who are active in businesses/sectors which are reopening as of 1 March, must undergo an antigen rapid test before they return to their workplace, either free through the Ministry of Health’s programme or privately at their own expense. It is noted that the teachers and staff of the school units that are reopening on 1 and 8 March, must have a negative rapid test result. Moreover, employees in businesses/sectors must undergo an antigen rapid test on a weekly basis, as defined in question 17. 


17. How long is the rapid test valid for?
Should it be repeated by employees? The result of the rapid test is valid for seven (7) days unless, in the meantime, a person develops symptoms or is classified as a contact and should therefore follow the protocol defined by the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit. The employer/business has the responsibility of coordinating repeat tests for employees, so that at any time and on a weekly basis they have a valid rapid test, as defined below:
For businesses/services employing up to 3 people, all employees should be tested; 
For businesses/services employing between 4 and 10 people, at least 4 employees should be tested; 
For businesses/services employing more than 10 people, at least 4 people or 20 % of employees should be tested, whichever is larger in number.

 
Ε. Culture: 
18. Which culture sectors are reopening as of 1 March? 
As of 1 March art spaces and art galleries are reopening, while upholding the health protocols of the Ministry of Health.

 

F. Education:

19. How will school units reopen with the physical presence of students?
The reopening of school units with the physical presence of students will take place in two phases: 
As of 1 March the first and second grades of public and private Lyceums and Technical Schools are reopening, while upholding the relevant health protocol.


As of 8 March, all grades of public and private Gymnasiums are reopening, while upholding the relevant health protocol. 8 It is noted that teachers and the rest of the school units’ staff must undergo an antigen rapid test before they return to their workplace. The rapid test must be repeated on a weekly basis, according to the provisions of the Decree. The carrying out of the test is recommended for students, but that is optional.
 
Source:http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/25022021_HealthMinisterEN.pdf
http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/25022021_QAs%20LiftingofMeasures%201%20March_%20EN.pdf

Republic of Cyprus Covid-19 Rules and Vaccination Programme

RoC National Vaccination Plan – 24th February 2021
The plan is on target with >64,000 vaccines administered by 23rd February. Based on December targets, Cyprus ranks 1st among EU member states, in administering the 1st dose of the vaccine, to people aged 80 and above.  


Cyprus is also one of the 1st countries to achieve the EU target of vaccinating at least 80% of health professionals by March and hence, reducing hospitalizations and deaths and dis-burdening the Health System. Vaccination of people aged 71 and over and other high-risk groups continues. To protect bedridden persons, vaccination at home or place of residence, through mobile vaccination units has been introduced. 
By 23rd February Cyprus has administered 64,562 vaccinations and is accelerating their programme, by increasing vaccination coverage of vulnerable groups and vaccination by age. 44,239 people have received 1 dose of the vaccine and 20,323 have completed their vaccination (2 doses).  
Vaccinations are carried out in 20 units across all districts. Two large Vaccination Centres are operating, in the State Fair, Lefkosia, and in the ‘Spyros Kyprianou’ Athletic Centre in Lemesos. Vaccination Centres will start operating in Pafos and Larnaka this week.  Vaccination Centres can administer, up to 15,000 vaccinations per day. 


Recent Studies
Public Health Scotland, found following almost 1.5 million vaccinations that a dose of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines is effective and significantly reduces hospitalizations. 4 weeks after receiving the 1st dose, the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to reduce the risk of COVID19 hospitalization by up to 85% and 94%, respectively. For people aged 80 and over, one of the highest risk groups for serious illness, an 81% reduction in the risk of hospitalization during the 4th week was seen, when the results for both vaccines were combined. 
A study in Israel, found the Pfizer vaccine is 95.8% effective in preventing infection two weeks after receiving 2 doses of the vaccine and 99.2% in preventing severe disease and 98.9% in preventing death. 
A British study has shown the risk of infection is reduced by 85% after the 2nd dose. 
Currently the European Medicines Agency has licensed three vaccines, AstraZeneca, Pfizer’s Comirnaty and the Moderna vaccine.  It is anticipated the Johnson&Johnson vaccine will be licenced in March.  >160,000 doses of the 3 vaccines are expected to be delivered in March with the volume increasing in the 2nd quarter of the year. 


Source: http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/24022021_vaccinationsby23febEN.pdf

  

Previous Statement

Currently the RoC have carried out over 402,000 rapid lateral flow tests during the first half of February.  It is required that all business ensure that at least 20% of their employees are tested weekly.


http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/1622021_testsEN.pdf


Coronavirus vaccinations – RoC are currently vaccinating all people over 75-79 years of age and those with chronic health conditions. Vaccination of health professionals is completed. 


Three vaccines of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer are being used for all age groups.


41,673 people were vaccinated on 11/2/21. 14,105 completed their vaccination (2 doses). 

 

On 11 February 2021 had 218 Covid-19 deaths of which 183 (83%), who have died were 70 years old and over, while the average age of the deceased is 79.  Currently, the average age of the hospitalized is 64 years and the average age of those hospitalized in HDUs and ICUs is 66 years.


Lifting Covid-19 Restrictions
Second phase of strategic gradual de-escalation of restrictive measures extended until 28 February


Opening Sports Facilities
From 8 February personal training in all sports is permitted in outdoor sports facilities, parks, linear parks and beaches, with a maximum number of 5 participants, regardless of age, including the coach/trainer (i.e. 4 persons exercising + 1 coach/trainer). 


No physical contact is allowed among those working out and that the training is only performed for exercise/fitness purposes.

 
For more details see:
http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/03022021_Decisions%20by%20the%20Council%20of%20Ministers%20regarding%20sports.pdf

 

Re-opening of indoor theatres and cinemas 
From 8 February, with a maximum number of spectators set at 50 persons.  Citizens wishing to go to a theatre or a cinema should send beforehand a text message (sms) to the number 8998 and select option n. 9.


Re-opening of Workplaces
From 8 February the following employees are expected to return to work:

  • retail businesses’ staff, 

  • educators and staff of primary schools as well as educators teaching third-grade students of Lyceums and Technical Schools

  • staff of museums and archaeological sites. 

  • Approximately 80,000 persons are expected to return to work.

Strategic lifting of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic – from 1 February 


A. Movement: 
1. What are the curfew hours? 
Movement continues to be prohibited from 9 in the evening until 5 in the morning of the following day. 


2. Under which circumstances is one allowed to move during curfew hours (9 in the evening to 5 in the morning of the next day)? 
The movement of persons during curfew hours continues to be permitted for the following reasons: 
For purposes of moving to and from workplaces, with the presentation of Form A, completed and signed by the employer, which certifies the necessity for the movement during the aforementioned hours. 
For urgent purposes, such as to go to a medical centre or a hospital or a pharmacy or a veterinarian for medical emergencies and to render

assistance to people who are unable to care for themselves or who need to self -isolate. 


3. How many times per day will movement by exception be permitted? 
Movement by exception will be permitted twice a day by sending a text message to 8998 for the reasons cited in question 5. Persons over the age of 65 may use Form B for their movement by exception.
It is clarified that for purposes of moving to and from the workplace for work purposes, no text message is required, but the employee must present Form A, signed by his/her employer. 


4. How many categories for movement by exception are there via a text message? 
Category 9 is added, for movement by exception via a text message. Category 9 concerns movement in order to visit barbershops, hair salons, and beauty salons. 


5. What changes in the remaining categories for movement by exception via a text message, as of 1 February? 
According to the decisions, movement to visit a residence (maximum two persons are allowed), is added to Category 5. At the same time, movement for exercise purposes in nature trails, as defined by the Forest Department, is excluded from Category 6. All other categories remain the same. 


6. Is movement between Districts allowed? 
Yes, movement between Districts is permitted provided that the purpose for which the movement takes place falls within the points of use of a text message, which normally does not exceed three (3) hours. 


B. Social gatherings: 


7. Are social gatherings at residences allowed? 
Social gatherings at residences are forbidden, with the exception of visits of up to two (2) persons. This measure is still aimed at limiting social contacts and therefore, it is recommended that the visitors do not change each time (remain within the same social bubble) and unnecessary visits are reduced. It is understood that no meal/dinner may be held in houses for weddings and christenings. At the same time, being present at a residence is permitted for the purposes of: 
caring for minors and disabled persons for the period/duration where the physical presence of parents/guardians is necessary in their workplace (e.g., nursery staff, childminders, guardians, caregivers, etc.). 
providing assistance to people who are unable to take care of themselves (medication, care of individuals, food supply, etc.). It is understood that such persons should take all personal protective measures and remain only for a reasonable period of time necessary for the care of the individual, so that they do not endanger him/her. 


8. Which groups of professionals are allowed to visit residences for work purposes? 

 

The presence of professionals at residences for work purposes is allowed only for the following groups of professionals: 

  • Electricians, plumbers, oil painters, electrical appliance technicians, construction contractors, and other technical professionals.

  • Domestic assistants. 

  • Gardeners. 

  • Health professionals, such as physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, community nurses, etc., to provide care to people who cannot move. 

  • Babysitters and kindergarten teachers exclusively for the purpose of caring for and guarding minors. 

 

It is noted that the presence of the aforementioned professionals is allowed only for the reasonable time needed to carry out their work. It is understood that in each case personal protection measures must be upheld, such as the use of a mask, distancing, good ventilation, etc. 

 

9. Are gatherings allowed in public and private meeting places? 
Access to and social gatherings in public and private meeting areas are prohibited, namely squares, parks, dams, excursion sites, marinas, beaches, pedestrian streets, etc. Access is only allowed to parks, linear parks and beaches, exclusively for physical exercise purposes. 


10. Is access to nature trails, as defined by the Forest Department, allowed? 
Access to nature trails is prohibited, for purposes of personal exercise, as well as for other purposes, with effect from the date of the issuance of the Decree. 


C. Sports: 
11. In what instances is physical exercise/training allowed? 


Physical exercise/training is permitted in areas where access is allowed in accordance with the decree in force. Specifically, access is allowed to parks, linear parks and beaches only for physical exercise or individual sport purposes. 


Persons are allowed to move for physical exercise or individual sport in parks, linear parks and beaches only, provided that they send an SMS message to 8998 while selecting the option number 6, comply with the maximum time frame allowed (3 hours), and ensure that participants in the training do not exceed two persons, excluding underage children. 


As regards parks, linear parks and beaches, it is noted that people are allowed to be present there for no other reason besides exercise. It is underlined that in areas where people are present in order to work out, no socialization is allowed among persons who do not reside in the same residence. It is noted that with regard to the right to perform physical exercise on the beach, persons are allowed to go to the beaches of the District where they permanently reside (primary residence). 


Excluded from this are persons who reside in a District without access to the beach, namely the District of Lefkosia, who are allowed to travel to beaches in other Districts in order to work out, within the reasonable time frame of three hours. It is understood that those persons wishing to leave their house in order to work out, are allowed to do so, provided that they send an SMS message to 8998 while selecting the option number 6 and comply with the maximum time frame allowed (3 hours). 


D. Attending religious services: 


12. Are sacred temples/places of religious worship permitted to operate? 
The Divine Liturgy in sacred temples/religious places of worship is performed without the presence of congregants. As of 8 February, the presence of congregants in places of religious worship is permitted, with a maximum number of 50 people, provided that they comply with the health protocols. 


It is clarified that up until 7 February, congregants can go to religious places of worship for individual prayer, (simultaneous physical presence of up to 10 persons per religious place), provided that the observance of the health protocols (distances, masks, maximum number of persons) will be ensured. It is clarified that the presence of congregants in the courtyard of temples/religious places of worship is prohibited. 


E. Business/Services: 


13. Which businesses reopen as of 1st February? 
As of Monday, 1st February, hair salons, barbershops, beauty salons and driving schools reopen. 


14. Who should undergo a mandatory rapid antigen test, according to the Decree? 
According to the Decree, all employees in businesses reactivated from 1st February should undergo a rapid antigen test by 31 January.


15. Where can I do a rapid antigen test, if I work in a business that is reactivated? 
For the benefit of employees, the Ministry of Health provides free antigen tests in all districts. The locations and hours of operation of the test units will be announced on a daily basis by the Ministry of Health. 


16. How long is the rapid test result valid for? Should it be repeated by employees?
The result of the rapid test is valid for seven (7) days unless, in the meantime, a person develops symptoms or is classified as a contact and should therefore follow the protocol defined by the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit. 


The employer/business has the responsibility of coordinating repeat checks for employees, so that at any time and on a weekly basis they have a rapid test, as defined below: 

  • Businesses/services employing up to 3 people, all employees should be tested 

  • Businesses/services employing between 4 and 10 people, tests should be carried out on at least 4 employees. 

  • Businesses/services employing more than 10 people, tests should be carried out on at least 4 people or 20 % of employees, whichever is larger in number. 


17. How will private service businesses operate?
As of 1st February the physical presence percentage of employees increases from 25% to 50%, with a minimum of 5 employees, if the employer so wishes, and without a limit to the maximum number of employees. It is noted that if a business operates in more than one building, the physical presence is permitted of a maximum of 50% of the employees working in each building. For businesses that are co-located in the same premises, the physical presence is permitted of a maximum of 50% of the employees of each legal entity (namely, of each business). The rest of the staff will work through telework at home. 


18. How are service businesses affected by the rapid test employee control programme? 
Employees who will return to work on 1st February, as a result of the increase in the physical presence percentage from 25% to 50%, must undergo a rapid antigen test by 31 January. At the same time, the employer should ensure the mandatory weekly check as described in question 16.


19. What are the service hours of food retailers for people over 65 and people with disabilities?
Pharmacies, supermarkets, mini-markets, fruit shops, butcher shops, fish mongers and grocery stores, from the start of operation until 9 am, will serve only people over the age of 65 and people with disabilities.


20. What applies to the operation of car wash services? 
Car wash services will operate for indoor and outdoor washing of vehicles. 

Source: http://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/29012021_qandAs_revised_ENGL.pdf - 29/1/2021
 

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