Cypriot Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela says he will ask the Cabinet on Wednesday to approve a new set of pandemic measures that include a 48-hour negative PCR test from all travelers arriving from China.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Hadjipantela said he was ready to submit a proposal to the President’s Cabinet on Wednesday to seek approval of COVID measures after having consulted with members of the government’s Scientific Advisory Committee.
The proposed measures include a requirement that all air passengers from China present a 48-hour negative PCR test upon their arrival in Cyprus.
The measures also call on random sample tests for passengers arriving in Cyprus as well as calling on Hermes, the state’s airport operator, to examine samples of wastewater
Additional measures require the use of medical masks and strict observance of hygiene measures on all flights from China, while similar measures reportedly on flights from elsewhere as well as inside the airport terminal are recommended.
The measures also call on random sample tests for arriving passengers as well as calling on Hermes, the state’s airport operator, to examine samples of wastewater.
“These measures are in line with the latest epidemiological outlook and European Commission recommendations to contain COVID-19 variants,” Hadjipantela said.
Hadjipantela sprang into action after EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides last month called on him and his counterparts across the bloc to take measures, saying information from China regarding COVID was scarce.
“China must share data transparently on its current situation. We can only tackle the pandemic if we work closely together at EU and global level,” Kyriakides wrote on Twitter last week.
An official EU decision, which was based on EU’s Health Security Committee according to Kyriakides, strongly urged member states to adopt measures after a number of countries, including Greece, openly said they did not favor the policy regarding China.
But critics spoke out against the policy, including Cypriot expert Leondios Kostrikis who called it a “political” decision.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also said the decision to single out China was “unjustified,” with critics pointing out a variant currently circulating in China had already appeared in Europe including Cyprus as well as a new offshoot was sweeping the United States before the year was out.
The exact phrasing of any new adopted measures was not expected until after the conclusion of the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.