COVID19: Cyprus extends mask-wearing, tests cheaper

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Cyprus renewed a decree issued 1 August making the wearing of face masks in crowded indoor places obligatory while lifting social gathering restrictions in Limassol and lowering the price for private COVID-19 tests.

The decree was extended from Friday, but it did not specify a cut-off date for mandatory mask use, as the previous one had done.

It is assumed that the use of masks in designated spaces will be indefinite until the minister revokes the relevant decree.

The decree applies to people aged over six, who visit crowded places such as supermarkets, bakeries, churches, malls, health facilities, pharmacies, and public service offices.

Masks are also mandatory for staff who serve the public in indoor crowded such as banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, as well as all client-facing government departments.

People working for state utility companies (water, electricity, telecoms) and public transport sector such as bus drivers, must also wear one.

The penalty for not wearing a mask is a €300 fine, paid by the offender and not the business or premises owner or manager on which the offender was booked.

A decree has also lifted the restriction on social gatherings in Limassol – where indoor and outdoor venues were restricted to 75 and 150 people respectively – after a spike in cases has flattened.

Meanwhile, the health minister also set a ceiling price of €75 (not including VAT) for COVID-19 tests (RT-PCR).

The new price cap is valid as of August 21 and applies to all such tests, except for contracts already signed by the government. The previous ceiling was set at €85.

The ministry also issued a list of accredited laboratories which can carry out the tests.

Private labs qualified to carry out the PCR test are as follows:

ACT-BIO laboratories partnership (biomedical laboratories Charis Charilaou, Andreas Adamou lab and Biocheck clinical lab)

Medifos

Theocharides clinical laboratories

MyGene Molecular Diagnostics

Diogenous laboratory (C.D. DNA Biomedical Science Lab)

Bioatriki Group (Yiannoukas labs)

Partnership of Bioanalysis Clinical Labs (Limassol), Tymvios labs (Nicosia), PZ Agapiou Diagnostics

NIPD Genetics

Molecular department of the laboratory at the American Medical Centre

Iasis private hospital

Evangelismos private hospital

Ygeia private hospital

Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus

  1. Evangelou Lab

Synlab

Aretaion hospital

Mask wearing

The use of a mask by the public is mandatory in indoor crowded spaces at the following establishments/venues:

– Supermarkets/bakeries

– Department stores / retail stores / shopping malls

– Churches

– Hospitals / clinics / nursing homes / other health care institutions

– Pharmacies

– Services/Departments of the public and wider public sector and private businesses which receive/serve customers (e.g. banks, citizen service centres, post offices, Cyprus Electricity Authority, etc).

– Betting shops

– Elevators