COVID19: Cabinet mulls widening Safe Pass

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The Cabinet convenes on Friday to discuss further measures to tackle the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, powered by the more aggressive Delta variant, with expanding the Safe Pass under the spotlight.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas will be proposing a series of measures before the Cabinet.

Ministers are to discuss a proposal for the Safe Pass to be mandatory to enter all shops, including kiosks.

Currently, businesses accommodating fewer than 20 people at one time, such as kiosks, bakeries and mini markets, are exempt from the Safe Pass requirement.

If approved, this would see daily life essentially become impossible without Safe Pass compliance.

A new decree is set to be issued on August 1 when the current one comes to an end, along with the scrapping of free rapid testing for the unvaccinated coming into effect.

Another measure to be tabled is for unvaccinated workers in care homes required to take a PCR test every 48 hours.

The government is also set to decide on whether to include children aged 12-15 in the country’s vaccination program ahead of the new school year starting in September.

Most government advisers err in favour of postponing jabs for children for a few more months, pending the results of mass vaccinations in the child population in the EU.

The government seems set to introduce vaccinations for children over 12.

Currently, to access hospitality, shops or other venues, people must carry a Safe Pass, which is proof of being vaccinated, recovered from the virus in the past six months or a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours.

Furthermore, customers at hospitality venues must be seated at all times, a maximum of ten to a table, while dancing is banned.

Children’s camping sites have also been closed.