COVID19: Businesses doubt Safe Pass scan

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A week before businesses are obliged to scan customer Safe Pass documents electronically; retailers have expressed their concerns as the application (CovScan) has proved problematic.

The government allowed a grace period for businesses to familiarise themselves with the application to electronically scan Safe Pass documents presented by customers to gain access to shops, events, gyms, and restaurants.

Initially, to be introduced on 8 November, businesses were given until 23 November to familiarise themselves with the application.

All businesses will be obliged to verify customer documents using CovScan from next week.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, General director of the Cyprus Supermarket Association, Andreas Hadjiadamou, said: “Retailers are concerned, as in some cases the scanner fails to recognise valid certificates”.

“Even when the application runs smoothly, there are times that queues form outside stores, especially supermarkets, as scanning certificates take significantly more time,” said Hadjiadamou.

He argued that businesses are especially worried that they will have to deal with long queues of people waiting to have their Safe Pass scanned during Christmas.

Hadjiadamou said shopkeepers have reported that many people carrying proof of a negative test could not update their electronic safe pass.

This is because it takes time for the result to be registered with the online platform.

“Furthermore, we have people who are not acquainted with technology and simply cannot navigate through the procedure.

“There are even small shopkeepers who do are not tech-savvy. So what happens in these cases?”

The Cyprus Supermarket Association also pointed out that tourists or Turkish Cypriots carry a different version of the Safe Pass.

“We demand that the government sends clear instructions on how to handle these cases.

“On our part, we suggest that older people, Turkish Cypriots and tourists are excluded from electronic Safe Pass scans,” said Hadjiadamou.