COVID19: Cabinet to decide tighter measures to stem tide

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The Cabinet convenes on Friday to decide on measures to stem the fourth wave of infections threatening to cripple the health system as cases surge to record highs.

Ministers have tough decisions to make seeks as experts warn over a spike in hospitalisations.

Health authorities have instructed public and private sector hospitals to free up beds to accommodate a rise in COVID-19 patients and postpone non-emergency operations.

The government will be looking to tighten its grip on entertainment venues where most clusters have been identified, namely nightclubs, bars, and hospitality.

Authorities are mulling imposing stricter protocols, following advisers’ suggestions, to contain the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

Stricter enforcement of the Safe Pass, banning dancing, reducing the number of people seated at a table and ensuring customers are seated at all times are all on the menu.

The government will be joining forces with private companies to get teenagers and young people between 18 to 30 onboard the vaccination train.

The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, Cablenet, two airlines, the Cyprus Football Association and the Bank of Cyprus will be chipping in with gifts for youngsters who chose to get vaccinated.

The two telecom companies are ready to offer coupons for tech gadgets, while the airlines are to offer plane tickets to the Greek islands.

CFA sources have confirmed that some season tickets from top-flight clubs are to be handed out to vaccinated people in a draw.

A Safe Pass is needed to enter hospitality venues, gyms, stadia, and even work.

Employees who have not been vaccinated need to get tested twice a week or risk being sent home on unpaid leave.

A decision on abolishing free testing as of 1 August still stands, although scientists have said that they would rather see the free testing scheme become more targeted rather than being scrapped.

Cyprus saw a shocking spike in daily COVID, breaking the 1000 benchmark for the first time since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The average age of those admitted to the hospital has dropped to 53.