NICOSIA — Authorities in Cyprus will deny access to indoor areas such as shopping malls, restaurants and supermarkets to anyone who hasn’t received a third booster shot seven months after being vaccinated against COVID-19, a government official said Wednesday.
Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said the measure, which entails the revocation of the SafePass — a vaccination passport — will take effect on Dec. 18 as the east Mediterranean island nation tries to beat back a resurgence of coronavirus infections before the Christmas holidays.
Hadjipantela also announced that as of Dec. 15, only those ages 12 and over who have received at least one shot will be allowed into indoor and outdoor sports stadiums, theaters, cinemas, nightclubs and restaurants.
Mask-wearing in all indoor places including schools will become compulsory for everyone over 6 at the end of the month. Children between 6 and 11 will also have to present a certificate that they’ve either recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months or have underwent a PCR test within the previous week for access to indoor spaces and where people gather in large numbers.
All school kids will have to undergo PCR tests at mobile testing units until the Christmas break, while all school Christmas events are canceled.
The COVID-19 infection rate has hovered near or above 0.50% in recent weeks and authorities are warning that more drastic measures could come down the pipeline if these steps don’t produce results.
Nearly 81% of adults in Cyprus are fully vaccinated, while that figure stands at 67% for the general population. About 14% of the population has so far received a booster shot.