Cyprus is receiving around 200-300 returnees from abroad on a daily basis, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Monday, noting that May is expected to see the repatriation of some 3,000 in total.
Since the enforcement of the flight ban decree on March 21, Karousos said that a total of 5,056 legal residents of Cyprus have been repatriated.
Repatriations will continue as long the flight ban is in place, the Minister went on.
While the Cyprus government has so far chartered rescue flights only from the UK, Greece, and Frankfurt, which functions as an assembly hub to collect passengers from several countries, Karousos said that after the cancellation of a flight chartered by the Russian government that was set to repatriate around 80 Cyprus nationals stranded in Russia, Cyprus may move to charter a flight for their repatriation if the Russian government doesn’t move to reschedule the flight by Tuesday.
Cypriot authorities are also making use of emergency flights organized by other countries to repatriate their own nationals, Karousos added.
For example, Karousos said that Cyprus nationals have boarded flights to the island from Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, that flew in to collect nationals from these countries for repatriation. A flight from the Netherlands is also scheduled to fly in in the coming days.
Karousos added that the Cyprus government also had to deal with several cases of personal emergencies requiring repatriation, such as cases where people asked to return to the island for humanitarian reasons or for the purpose of attending funerals of close relatives.