COVID19: Cyprus lifts measures, ends SMS permit, adds coronapass

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Cyprus announced a host of relaxations from Monday when the current lockdown ends, with the government allowing larger crowds, pushing back the late-night curfew and abolishing the SMS system for exits from home.

The Council of Ministers issued a list of 34 measures based on improving epidemiological data and a slow, but steady rise in vaccinations as 30% of population has received the first dose and a 60% target has been set by the end of June.

With the next parliamentary elections to be held on May 30, the government has been gentle not to upset the pubic with harsher restrictions, with the key change being the introduction of a ‘coronapass’.

The new permit requires a negative PCR or rapid test in the last 72 hours, at leas the first of two vaccine doses in the past three weeks and not being infected in the last six months.

This will allow entry at cafés, bars and restaurants, churches, social gatherings and celebrations, which will be limited to 10 people at first and mainly outdoors, gradually allowing 50% attendance, including indoors, from June 1, when wedding parties will allow up to 200 guests.

The night curfew has been pushed back from 9pm to 11pm, and valid until 5am, schooling will continue to require weekly negative rapid tests, while visits at hospitals and care centres will be allowed.

Night clubs will remain closed, mass public events are still banned, cinemas and theatres will admit up to 50 people from May 17 and 50% from June 1, open markets will be permitted, maintaining a 1.5m distance among consumers and stalls, and malls will reopen, together with retail stores.

Beauty and hair salons will require a coronapass, as will gyms and dance schools, gaming shops and casinos from May 16, allowing 50% access from June 1.


Free access to beaches

Beach access will not require a coronapass, but beach beds must be cleaned after each use and distances must be kept between umbrellas.

Tutorial schools will reopen, while childrens’ sports activities will also be allowed, and children’s and theme parks will reopen with limitations from May 17.

Conferences will resume with 30% attendance from May 17, rising to 50% from June 1, while cocktails are banned, the same applying to election campaigns.

Civil service will continue to work remotely, with up to 50% of staff allowed back in essential services from May 17, while the 30% rule is reintroduced in private businesses, rising to 50% from May 17.

For the football cup final on May 15, a 15% attendance limit will be in place, requiring a coronapass, while a 80% cap is set for hospital beds and 60% in emergency wards.