Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

More people opt to test at pharmacies


Long queues at free COVID-19 rapid testing sites are putting people off, as more Cypriots opt to pay for a test at their neighbourh­ood pharmacy for under EUR 20.

With the lifting of the lockdown on 10 May, and the introducti­on of the new Safe Pass system people now need a negative rapid test, or proof of immunity if not vaccinated against the virus, to go about their daily lives.

Visiting gyms, church, restaurant­s, cafes, and shops requires a safe pass.

“Since the beginning of the week and with the introducti­on of the Safe Pass, we have seen increased demand for rapid testing at private pharmacies”, said the president of the Pancyprian Pharmaceut­ical Associatio­n, Eleni Piera.

Pharmacist­s reported a sharp increase in demand despite the fact, as Piera said, “our members have been offering this service for about two months now”.

Although the ceiling is at EUR 20, prices range between 10-15, while there are some pharmacies that provide the test at prices below 10 euros, said Piera.

Following an agreement reached with the Ministry of Health, pharmacist­s can provide the necessary certificat­e of a negative result.

Positive results are reported to authoritie­s, based on the procedure followed by private labs.

The Safe Pass is the government’s latest way to ascertain proof of immunity for individual­s who wish to visit places where people congregate, such as restaurant­s and shopping malls.

Pharmacies have been handed a list of approved rapid testing kits, from which they are not allowed to deviate.

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