Nicosia [Cyprus], July 19 (ANI/Sputnik): Thousands of people have gathered outside the presidential palace in the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, to protest against SafePass and what they consider to be pressure to get vaccinated against COVID-19, local media report.
The protesters gathered at Human Rights Square outside the presidential palace on Sunday. The demonstration, organized through social media groups, was peaceful, although there was police presence, Cyprus Mail said.
According to the newspaper, the protesters were calling for the abolition of SafePass, an end to twice-weekly tests for unvaccinated employees and were demanding a declaration from the presidency that vaccination against the coronavirus will not be mandatory. The demonstrators were also calling for better, earlier treatment against COVID-19 in favor of vaccines.
SafePass -- a document to ascertain proof of virus immunity for individuals who wish to visit public places -- was introduced in Cyprus in May, but it was initially required only in some indoor venues. Starting from July 20, SafePass will become mandatory almost in all public places, including transport, shops and cafes.
In addition, the Cyprus government is abolishing the provision of free rapid antigen tests starting August 1 in an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. (ANI/Sputnik)