COVID19: Safe Pass scrapped for nightclubs, weddings

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Health authorities are scrapping the requirement for a Safe Pass at entertainment venues, nightclubs, and events such as weddings and christenings from May 15, following a Cabinet decision Tuesday.

The Cabinet also decided to increase the number of visits allowed for patients in hospitals, from one to two a day, provided they carry a negative rapid test no older than 24 hours.

The decision was prompted by improving the epidemiological picture in Cyprus, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said.

“The decrease in the number of cases and the reduced hospitalisations in the past weeks have allowed us to proceed with further relaxations,” Hadjipantela said after the cabinet decision.

The minister, however, warned that “the positive developments must under no circumstances lead to complacency”.

Tuesday’s decision adds to a slew of measures abolished on 15 May.

Self-isolation will no longer be required for closed contacts regardless of their vaccination status or whether they had contracted the virus in the last three months.

Instead, all close contacts are advised to get tested on the third and fifth day.

Weekly testing is recommended for everyone, with either a self-test or a rapid test.

Moreover, children under 12 will no longer be required to wear a face mask while the ‘test to stay’ policy for all schools will be scrapped.

Students are no longer required to show a Safe Pass from mid-May.

A ceiling on the capacity of hospitality venues, bars and nightclubs will be lifted for establishments up to 500 sqm and 85% for those over 500 sqm, with the ratio remaining one person per sqm.

The maximum capacity in stadiums and casinos was also increased to 85%, just in time for the FA Cup final on 25 May.

From 15 May, vaccinated or recovered employees at hospitals, nursing homes, medical practices, rehabilitation centres, and other closed structures will no longer be required to present a negative test for work.

Unvaccinated employees will continue to be required to present a 48-hour negative rapid or PCR test.