Parents protest against mask-wearing at primary schools, outside Paphos education office

COVID19: Masks, Safe Pass mandatory for children

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Cyprus on Monday enforced stricter COVID-19 restrictions, as children over six now need to wear a face mask in school and present a Safe Pass for extracurricular activities and venues they visit.

Mask-wearing and carrying a Safe Pass to gain entry to shops and entertainment venues is now mandatory for anyone over six.

Parents Monday protested against mask-wearing in the classroom at primary schools and there were peaceful demos at the weekend against the government measures.

For children between six and 11, Safe Pass documents consist of proof of recovery from the virus in the past six months or a negative PCR or rapid test not older than seven days.

A digital Safe Pass document is mandatory for those between 14 and 64.

Businesses are obliged to use the CovScan application to scan Safe Pass documents electronically.

Also, starting Monday, primary school children will be tested weekly until the Christmas break.

Christmas events at schools are banned, while those planned by venues or businesses need special permission.

Health authorities will provide free testing in areas severely affected by the virus to everyone regardless of vaccination status.

From Wednesday, authorities will turn the screw on the unvaccinated.

Adults who have not completed their vaccination regimen must have a 72-hour PCR test or a 48-hour Rapid Antigen test for Safe Pass purposes.

Previously unvaccinated people could have a rapid test every 72 hours.

From 15 December, only people over 12 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine will be able to enter indoor and outdoor venues such as stadiums, restaurants, and nightclubs, regardless of whether they have recently been tested.

Furthermore, authorities are applying pressure on Cypriots to get a booster shot.

People needing a booster jab have until 18 December to get one, or their Safe Pass will be invalid.

Also, next month, health authorities will introduce self-testing.

Vaccinated people will be handed test kits for free from pharmacies with a GP’s prescription.

The unvaccinated will have to pay for their test kits.

All COVID-19 measures will be in force until the end of the year.

New measures:

  • 29 November, all children over six must wear a mask in all areas where the use of a face covering is required
  • 29 November, 6 – 11-year-olds must present a Safe Pass
  • a) certificate of recovery from COVID in the last six months, a negative result from PCR or rapid antigen test no older than seven days. In addition, children can present written proof or an SMS sent by authorities.
  • 29 November, all primary school students will undergo rapid antigen testing weekly, conducted by mobile units of the Ministry of Health. This measure will be in force until the schools close for Christmas.
  • 29 November, all school Christmas celebrations are banned. Other organisations wanting to conduct Christmas events will need to obtain a permit from the Health Ministry.
  • 29 November, businesses must electronically verify Safe Pass documents for everyone over 14.
  • 29 November, free testing for everyone where clusters form.
  • 1 December, adults who have not completed their vaccination regimen need a 72-hour PCR test or a 48-hour Rapid Antigen test for Safe Pass purposes.
  • 13 December, vaccinated people will be handed free test kits from pharmacies with a GP’s prescription. Unvaccinated people will have to pay for theirs.
  • 15 December, only people over 12 who have received a jab can enter;

(i) indoor and outdoor stadiums

(ii) theatres, amphitheatres, cinemas, auditoriums

(iii) nightclubs, discos, music and dance venues, restaurants.

  • 18 December, people who do not receive the booster dose after seven months will see their Safe Pass documents cancelled.