Thousands of Cyprus nationals have reportedly been trapped abroad after the government said it would not allow entry to arrivals without valid health certificates, but labs abroad say they are following protocols whereby checks are only conducted on those showing symptoms.
Airlines carrying out flights to Cyprus were notified on Sunday night of the new government measure, according to which entry will be denied after 6pm to those not carrying a valid health certificate showing that they do not carry coronavirus.
Should airlines allow passengers to board on planes headed for Cyprus without showing a valid health certificate, they will receive an administrative fine.
The Government has reportedly taken the strict measure after receiving information that some 1,500 students were set to descend on the island, mainly from the UK where limited checks are in place.
According to the Senior Communications Manager of Hermes Airports, Maria Kouroupi, “those who do arrive at the Larnaca or Paphos airports after 6pm, will not have any contact with their families or relatives who will possibly come to receive them.”
Arrivals to Cyprus airports will need to show the certificate to airport medical staff who will also conduct a medical examination. They will then be boarded on buses that have been disinfected and will be transferred to the old Larnaca airport where a quarantine space has been set up. Police vehicles will accompany the buses.
From the old Larnaca airport, arrivals with then be transferred by buses to state-designated quarantine spaces where they will remain for 14 days.
In the event that a passenger arrives in Cyprus without a valid health certificate, they will be required to return to country from which they arrived.
Problems however arose for many Cypriot nationals in countries which are facing increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and follow protocols to only perform lab tests for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms.
Cyprus nationals not showing symptoms are therefore unable to get hold of a certificate, and remain trapped abroad.
The inter-Ministerial committee that was set up to effectively deal with the coronavirus pandemic will be re-evaluating the measure after a range of issues arose, though reports said that the committee will uphold its decision, but may allow entry for special cases.