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10 May, 2021 15:43

Cyprus lifts 3rd lockdown, introduces Covid 'safety pass' for citizens to return to some form of normality

Cyprus lifts 3rd lockdown, introduces Covid 'safety pass' for citizens to return to some form of normality

As the country emerges from its third partial lockdown, authorities in Cyprus have introduced a coronavirus "safety pass" system to afford at least some semblance of freedom of movement to its (vaccinated) citizens. 

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou described the initiative as “a step towards returning to a more normal pace of social and economic activity," and "an important step towards exiting uncertainty."

Cypriot health officials have now abolished a text-in service established previously which allowed people to leave their homes on receipt of official approval from authorities, provided there was a valid reason. 

Cypriots hoping to gain access to the country's gradually reopening hospitality venues will now be required to show the so-called coronavirus "safety pass" which indicates a citizen has received at least one dose of an approved coronavirus vaccine.

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Survivors who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months as well as those with proof of a negative PCR test in the preceding 72 hours may also obtain a Covid "safety pass" to enjoy a night on the town. 

Cypriot authorities claim the “safety pass” measure is only temporary and will last until May 31, with a view towards expediting the island's vaccination program and achieving herd immunity (the point at which more than 65% of the adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine).

An overnight curfew from 11pm will remain in effect for the foreseeable future, however. 

Cyprus endured a third wave predominantly caused by the more contagious British variant of the coronavirus in recent months. On Saturday, the country recorded 397 new cases as a result of a daily record 71,250 tests. 

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Cypriot authorities are hoping to provide a boost to the country's economy by allowing vaccinated tourists unlimited entry from May 10. 

Southern Cyprus has recorded some 70,000 cases of Covid-19 infection resulting in at least 334 deaths since March 2020.  

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