Not only for tourists, but also for its own unvaccinated citizens, Cyprus is introducing new restrictive measures from today.
From August 1, SafePass antique certificates will have to be presented at the entrance to the premises where there are or hypothetically may be more than 10 people (previously 20). The measures were agreed on Friday by the government of Cyprus and concern both tourists and the local population who have not been vaccinated.
SafePass is now also required for all hospital visitors, public and private, aged 12 and over. The same documents now need to be presented to visitors and staff of nursing homes.
Guests arriving on the island, in addition to the tests required upon entry, need to be tested again on the seventh day of their stay in Cyprus – an express test for the presence of antigens or a molecular PCR test. The new requirement does not apply to those who have had coronavirus in the past 180 days.
The innovations also concern the work of laboratories at the airports of Paphos and Larnaca. After returning from abroad, only vaccinated Cypriots, as well as children from 12 to 15 years old and citizens who are not able to get vaccinated due to medical contraindications, will be able to undergo diagnostic tests after returning from abroad. In the absence of a test done before departure from a red-listed host country, Cypriots will have to go into 3-day self-isolation after testing at the airport, and then repeat the test at their own expense.
For unvaccinated citizens of Cyprus, the same protocol applies as for foreigners: upon arrival from countries of any category, except for green, Cypriots need to have a test done in the country of departure no earlier than 72 hours before returning home.
Starting today, August 1, free rapid antigen tests for non-vaccinated citizens will be canceled in Cyprus. Now you will have to pay for each test (but not more than € 10). The cost of such a service in medical institutions ranges from € 5 to € 8.
From now on, only licensed clinical laboratories and pharmacies are entitled to test for SafePass, not mobile laboratory teams. But the latter will not stop their activities: about 50 teams will travel daily to the cities and villages of the island to conduct free express tests there for certain categories of people, which include:
children under 16; adolescents 16-17 years old, whose parents are against vaccination of children; pregnant women; persons vaccinated with one or two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
It is noted that those avoiding vaccinations without a valid reason will no longer be able to test for free. Michalis Hadjipantelas, Minister of Health of the Republic of Cyprus, said yesterday that the government intends to redirect the budget funds previously used for free tests to support the country’s medical institutions:
“We have already spent € 26 million on rapid tests, and now our hospitals need such an infusion.”
The head of the Ministry of Health made it clear that consent or refusal to vaccination is a personal choice of everyone, but the state also has the right to choose:
“Since they themselves decided not to get vaccinated, we believe that paying for the express test is now their responsibility.”