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Cyprus to ease COVID-19 access restrictions on unvaccinated

February 15, 2022 GMT
A woman wearing a protective mask walks at a main shopping street in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Tourism-reliant Cyprus will lift a requirement for all inbound travelers to either show a negative COVID-19 test or to self-isolate or quarantine themselves as of Mar. 1 as long as they have a valid vaccination certificate. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A woman wearing a protective mask walks at a main shopping street in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Tourism-reliant Cyprus will lift a requirement for all inbound travelers to either show a negative COVID-19 test or to self-isolate or quarantine themselves as of Mar. 1 as long as they have a valid vaccination certificate. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A woman wearing a protective mask walks at a main shopping street in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Tourism-reliant Cyprus will lift a requirement for all inbound travelers to either show a negative COVID-19 test or to self-isolate or quarantine themselves as of Mar. 1 as long as they have a valid vaccination certificate. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A woman wearing a protective mask walks at a main shopping street in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Tourism-reliant Cyprus will lift a requirement for all inbound travelers to either show a negative COVID-19 test or to self-isolate or quarantine themselves as of Mar. 1 as long as they have a valid vaccination certificate. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A woman wearing a protective mask walks at a main shopping street in central capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Tourism-reliant Cyprus will lift a requirement for all inbound travelers to either show a negative COVID-19 test or to self-isolate or quarantine themselves as of Mar. 1 as long as they have a valid vaccination certificate. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus is lifting COVID-19 restrictions on access for the unvaccinated to bars, restaurants and other venues following a leveling off of new coronavirus cases in recent days that has eased the pressure on the health care system.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said Tuesday that unvaccinated people can enter nightclubs, soccer stadiums, theaters, hotels and cinemas starting Feb. 21 as long as they show a valid COVID-19 rapid test taken within the previous 24 hours.

The maximum number of people permitted in nightclubs and other venues is being raised by 50 to 250, while single-table seating increases from eight to 12. The number allowed to gather in private residences doubles to 20.

Maximum capacity at soccer stadiums and cinemas is being raised to 70% and 75%, respectively. The percentage of private sector employees required to work from home is being halved to 25%.

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Hadjipantela also said that the “test-to-stay” measure under which primary, junior high school and high school students are required to undergo regular rapid tests to attend classes is also being expanded to teaching staff and government workers.

Cyprus has seen daily COVID-19 cases taper off in recent days to hover at an infection rate of around 2.2% as have hospital admissions of serious cases.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic