Cyprus announced that it would no longer be accepting incoming flights as of Saturday (March 21) implementing a two-week travel ban while all accommodation facilities including hotels will close in efforts to contain the further spread of the coronavirus.
Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos announced the decision after introducing stringent airport controls on Monday allowing entry only to travelers holding test results clearing them of Covid-19. All others are obliged to remain in quarantine in a government-supervised facility for two weeks.
The measure, banning flights from 28 countries, including the UK and Greece, comes into effect at 0100 GMT (3am) on March 21. Cargo flights will not be affected.
The island nation has remained relatively unaffected by the virus with the health ministry reporting a total of 58 confirmed cases on Wednesday and no related deaths.
Earlier, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades declared a state of emergency in view of the coronavirus health crisis.
Alternate Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios announced that on March 21, the country’s hotels and accommodation facilities would close until April 30, giving foreign nationals until Saturday to return to their countries of origin. If they are unable to find a return flight out of Cyprus by Saturday, they should contact their country’s consular service or embassy.
Meanwhile, Perdios has requested that hoteliers offer their facilities for the 14-day quarantine needs of repatriated Cypriots in the coming days, while announcing he launch of the 1420 hotline for hotels should guests present symptoms.