Newsroom / CNA
The British Bases in Cyprus go hand in hand with the Republic of Cyprus in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, SBA Administrator, Major General Rob Thomson, said on Thursday, noting that the Bases have been implementing the exact same measures as the ones adopted by the Republic of Cyprus.
Thompson expressed his gratitude to the nearly 1,000 Cypriot nationals who work for the Bases, noting that personnel who have to remain at home to look after their children or because they belong to the vulnerable groups and can’t work, will receive their pay in full and will be able to return to their work once the coronavirus crisis is over.
The new movement restriction measures that were put into force on Tuesday apply for all military and civilian staff, family members and the people who live in the Bases, the SBA Administrator said.
“The measures need to be in step with the Republic of Cyprus so that we provide the best possible protection to the people of this island. We need to do this together. That is really important,” the Major General stressed.
Moreover, he noted that the British Bases are in constant contact with the Republic of Cyprus, the Foreign Ministry and the Health Ministry, updating each other on developments related to the COVID-19 issue.
Currently there are three confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Bases, involving two members of the Royal Air Force and one family member. Two cases were confirmed on March 15, while the third was confirmed on March 19.
All three are in isolation, and are showing mild symptoms.
So far, 146 tests conducted by the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics on samples from people in the SBA have emerged negative, while the results of 129 tests are still pending.
Asked about the crossing points in the SBA areas, he told the Cyprus News Agency that the Strovilia and Pergamos crossing points “are effectively closed, as we have put the same measures in place in the Republic of Cyprus.”
Furthermore, he said that people coming back from the UK to the Bases are placed in isolation for 14 days, adding that “we have reduced the number of people coming to the island so that only people who are operationally essential come”.
He also noted that he met with local mayors of communities within the SBA, taking the necessary precautionary measures, and briefed them upon the measures taken.
Thomson said that many of the Bases staff members are now working remotely. There are some people who can’t work remotely but we are reducing to a minimum the number of people in the units to make sure that we protect ourselves, he added.
Asked about the medical supplies at the Bases he said that at the moment the situation is good, and when necessary they can bring in supplies from the UK.