Cyprus is further tightening checks on all incoming passengers over the age of 12, requiring a mandatory PCR test on arrival, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas has announced.
Hadjipantelas said the new measures were aimed at preventing possible deterioration of the epidemiological situation due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Travelers arriving by air have to take the PCR test regardless of whether they have a health SafePass, denoting that they have recovered from a COVID-19 infection, are fully vaccinated or have a negative test for the coronavirus.
Passengers entering from ports for a short visit, mostly tourists arriving by cruise ships, must have a negative PCR certificate within 72 hours and will also be required to take a rapid antigen test on disembarkation without any cost to them.
Hadjipantelas said the measures will be effective from Dec. 6 to Jan. 10, 2022, when the epidemiological situation will be reviewed.
The minister also said that in a bid to check spiraling COVID-19 infections, 20 percent of the staff of services businesses, excluding essential services, will have to work from home as of next Monday.
He also said that calling up army reservists for service or training will be suspended until Feb. 28, 2022.
Christmas and New Year events organized by shopping malls and schools have been suspended, while access to outdoor events organized by municipalities will be allowed only to holders of a negative test for COVID-19, even if they have completed their vaccination regimen.
Unvaccinated people will not be allowed to attend at all, the minister said.