A boat with Syrian refugees arrived in Cyprus around midnight, with coast guard officials allowing women and children to spend the night at the marina while COVID-19 tests have been ordered on all 55 persons.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, a boat with undocumented migrants was spotted Sunday afternoon some 15 nautical miles off Cape Greco, on the eastern part of the island.
Local media said coast guard officials towed the boat to safety around midnight, while transferring women and children into another boat and allowing them to spend the night at the Ayia Napa marina on humanitarian grounds.
A total of 55 presumptive refugees from Syria were on the boat, including 36 men, 5 women, and 14 minors including young children and infants.
Officials rushed to the area Monday morning where they arranged for COVID-19 rapid tests to take place on site before the refugees could be transferred to another temporary facility.