NICOSIA — Cyprus is moving to ease COVID-19 restrictions as the key summer tourist season approaches, abolishing the outdoor facemask mandate and the obligation to show a recovery or inoculation certificate for work and shopping.
Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said Thursday that outdoor mask wearing will no longer be compulsory as of Apr. 11. A week later, recovery or inoculation certificates will not be needed for shopping or to go to work — except for employees at nursing homes, clinics and hospitals.
Also starting next week, certificates will no longer be required to enter government offices, museums, art galleries, construction sites, bazaars and festivals.
Next week will also see virus-infected people returning to routine after a week of self-isolation without requiring a rapid test, as long as they no longer display symptoms. Self-isolation for those considered close contacts of infected persons and who don’t show symptoms is reduced from seven to five days.
Cinemas and theaters also return to 100% capacity and the work-from-home percentage for government workers drops to 25%.
The East Mediterranean island nation has for the last three months seen higher infection rates, but without a significant increase in the number of serious cases requiring hospitalization.
Hadjipantela warned the public against misconstruing the relaxations as an end to the pandemic.