COVID19: Cyprus mulls tighter measures for Christmas

1 min read

Health authorities are mulling tightening restrictions to stem coronavirus, boosted by Omicron with higher transmissibility, including a limit on home gatherings and mandatory testing for all.

On Monday, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas will meet the team of scientists advising the government on the outbreak to get their recommendations on containing the spread ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Scientists will table suggestions, including a ceiling on people allowed at a festive home gathering and testing for all to gain entry to certain crowded spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.

The newly agreed measures are expected to be announced on Tuesday, following a cabinet meeting, and are to come into force before Christmas Day.

The tightening of measures follows restrictions on the unvaccinated and people who have not yet had a booster shot seven months after completing their initial vaccination scheme.

The unvaccinated are now banned from entering hospitality and sports venues, while people who should have had a booster shot will also need to carry a negative PCR or rapid test.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced that self-test kits would be made available for people who have completed their initial vaccination scheme from Tuesday.

Authorities will be delivering self-test kits to pharmacies on Monday.

Vaccinated people registered with the General Health System will be eligible to pick up a set of five free self-tests at pharmacies.

Those who have completed their vaccination programme in Cyprus and are not beneficiaries of the GHS will be able to receive the self-tests from various points in each district.

Cyprus on Sunday reported another 448 COVID cases, down from the average 600 plus reported during the past week, out of a significantly lower number of tests.

So far, 144,713 cases and 619 deaths have been recorded in Cyprus.