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30 May, 2023
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Flights booked solid before 6pm deadline

Cypriots traveling from Greece rush to beat a Monday 6pm health certificate deadline


Daytime flights from Athens to the Republic of Cyprus were sold out on Monday after the government said new arrivals on evening flights after 6pm would not be allowed into the country without a valid health certificate.

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According to Kathimerini Cyprus, tickets were hard to come by for those trying to book a flight from Greece to Cyprus in order to beat the 6pm deadline for health certificates at ports of entry.

Following an announcement on Sunday, starting on Monday evening at 6pm and through April 30, travelers who remained eligible to travel after several category restrictions would be allowed to enter the country only if they have a valid health certificate issued up to four days prior to arrival showing a clean bill of health and no presence of COVID-19.

The Twitter hashtag #StayTheFuckHome has been gaining in popularity, urging people to stay put and help stop the spread of the coronavirus

Kathimerini’s Apostolos Tomaras said two airline companies, Blue Air and Cyprus Airways, were completely sold out for flights arriving to the island before 6pm on Monday.

Travelers who land on Cypriot soil before 6pm would not be required to show a health certificate, but all arrivals would be further quarantined in state-approved facilities and locations where they will remain in isolation for 14 days.

On Monday morning, Tomaras pointed out that flights were available on Aegean but the earliest was scheduled to land after 6pm. As for the following day, Cyprus Airways later canceled all flights to Cyprus starting Tuesday through April 30.

The government’s health certificate requirement will also remain in effect through April 30 while critics raised doubts whether the measure would work, saying it would be impractical to turn away Greek Cypriots at the port of entry if they still managed to get a flight back home but had difficulty getting a health certificate.

But people took to social media praising the strict measures, with the Twitter hashtag #staythefuckhome gaining in popularity, urging people to stay put and help stop the spread of the coronavirus once and for all.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the government was determined to take action and would not make any exception to the health certificate rule, “not for 6:01pm, not for 6:05pm.”

Cyprus went into lockdown after cases began to rise and following urgent calls by the World Health Organization. On Friday, WHO officials called on countries to take bold action to “do it all” as gradual measures failed to make the situation manageable.

Cyprus  |  coronavirus  |  travel  |  lockdown  |  Greece

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