Government orders masks & Covid passes for children to ‘save Christmas’

Authorities in Cyprus have announced strict new Covid-19 restrictions, including mandatory screenings and masking for children as young as six years old.

In response to a rise in cases on the Mediterranean island, health officials have notched up their pandemic protocols, even announcing citizens’ vaccination certification, referred to as a SafePass, will be null and void next month if they are seven months out from their vaccination.

This will require many, including children, to receive booster shots in order to have access to indoor areas like restaurants and stores with a SafePass. Unvaccinated individuals as young as 12 need to get inoculated to get access to shopping malls, restaurants, theaters, and other indoor and outdoor areas. Approximately 20% of Cyprus remains unvaccinated. 

Starting November 29, children between the age of six and 11 will be required to undergo weekly screenings for coronavirus. Masks will also be mandatory. Self testing kits will be available in December to individuals, but unvaccinated citizens will need to put up the cost themselves. 

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said in a statement the new orders have been put in place to “save Christmas.”

“Only through cooperation and individual responsibility can we overcome the threat of this virus, and save Christmas without the imposition of additional measures,” he said. 

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