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Cyprus Swaps Student Quarantine with 5 Days of Virus Tests

January 12, 2022

NICOSIA — Cyprus is changing its compulsory quarantine rules for school children in an effort to keep pupils in school amid surging coronavirus infections, the country’s health minister said Wednesday.

Under the new system, schoolkids who were in close contact with classmates who test positive will no longer face compulsory quarantine. Instead, they must undergo either a rapid or a self-test for five consecutive days while continuing to attend school — so long as they test negative.

Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said after a Cabinet meeting that the month-long effort starting next week will apply to primary and secondary students regardless if they’ve been vaccinated or not.

The aim of the so-called “test to stay” scheme is to keep schools running by quickly identifying and isolating newly infected students without keeping classmates away from lessons.

Also, as of Jan. 14, travelers to Cyprus must have undergone either a rapid antigen or a PCR test within 24 and 72 hours respectively prior to arrival. Anyone intending to travel to Cyprus but has contracted COVID-19 must wait 10 days before setting off.

Cyprus has seen an infection rate of over 3% for the last two weeks with the health care system feeling the pressure as hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients has been on a steady rise.

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