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23 July, 2024
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President: Partial lockdown of airports, schools to remain closed until April 10

Airports will remain open only to Cypriot citizens, those working or studying in the Republic, and those on diplomatic missions


President Nicos Anastasiades addressed the nation on Friday night after the week saw cumulative confirmations of coronavirus cases across the divide, with the figure reaching 26 so far.

Among the measures announced in his address was the partial lockdown of airports for all barring Cypriot citizens, those who work and study in the Republic, and those on a diplomatic mission to the island. The measure will be enforced early on Saturday, and for 15 days as a first phase.

Additional measures announced involved restrictions on who will be permitted to cross through all buffer zone checkpoints, as well as an extension of the suspension of schools islandwide until next month.

The President's address in full: 

"Countrywomen, Countrymen,

I am aware of the strong feelings of anxiety and insecurity that each and every one of you is experiencing as a result of the rapid spread of the new epidemic that is indiscriminately affecting humanity as a whole.

This is the reason why I am appealing to everybody tonight, to every Cypriot or legal resident in the Republic of Cyprus, to convey to them the Government's determination to continue taking the measures needed to effectively minimize the consequences of this crisis.

Protecting the public health of our fellow citizens is a top priority, as is ensuring the economic survival of our employees, small and medium-sized businesses and vulnerable groups of the population.

To this end, the Ministry of Health took the first steps on January 23, with strict controls on those arriving from China.

On February 28, the Council of Ministers decided to activate the National Crisis Management Center, to suspend the operation of four crossing points for more effective control of transit and to record government accommodations or campsites that in case of a pandemic would be needed to isolate suspected cases.

Subsequently, and as a result of the deterioration of the situation, the Ministry of Health issued on 6, 9, 10 and 12 March updated directives with risk classification of countries and measures relating to travelers' obligations.

On March 11, the World Health Organization classified the coronavirus as a pandemic, indicating the uncontrolled spread of the virus and the need for more stringent measures.

Fellow Citizens,

Before referring to the new set of decisions, I would like to emphasize that no measure, however strict, is sufficient to prevent or protect the whole unless individual and collective responsibility is taken, unless discipline in abiding by the measures and mutual respect is demonstrated.

I want to be clear. The measures we take are the result of recommendations and consultations with the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and are not simply a statement of exhortation, but guidelines for implementation.

That is why I will be very keen on addressing all citizens who bear the task of implementing the measures.

I am addressing parents, and invite them to realize that it is not the time for relaxation or satisfying the wishes that children can reasonably project. It is time to be strict.

I am address the young, and urge them to understand that showing a lack of discipline as regards the measures because it ‘does not concerned me’ is a particularly dangerous illusion.

The risks are not only for them, but especially for their loved ones, brothers, parents, grandparents.

To all our compatriots, whether residing abroad or in Cyprus, I appeal to you to avoid unnecessary travel.

With full respect for everyone's need, especially in these difficult times, to turn to religion for the sake of valor and strength, I would like to point out that one of the fundamental virtues of religion is love for thy neighbor, brotherhood, and respect for the social whole.

That is why I want to be clear: No one is above or can be excluded from following all that has been decided.

Countrywomen, countrymen,

At six in the afternoon, the World Health Organization has announced that Europe is at the center of the pandemic.

In Cyprus, 19 cases have been recorded in the free and occupied areas in the last four days.

I know that the measures that are being taken or the further measures that we may possibly be obliged to take, affect and disrupt the daily lives of us all.

But there is no other choice.

To this end, and in addition to the measures already taken, the Government has decided:

A. From the early morning of March 15 and for a period of 15 days as a first phase, the prohibition of entry of any citizen - regardless of nationality - who does not fall into the following categories:

  • Cypriot citizens.
  • Legal residents in the Republic of Cyprus.
  • European or third-country nationals working in the Republic.
  • Nationals of countries that are in a designated diplomatic service or mission under bilateral or international conventions.
  • Individual cases of European nationals or third-country nationals for unavoidable professional obligations provided that the relevant Ministry has obtained the relevant authorization.


  • European or third-country nationals attending educational institutions in the Republic of Cyprus

B. As regards crossing points between free and occupied areas, only persons belonging to the following categories shall be permitted:

  • Cypriot citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
  • Legal residents in the free areas.


  • Nationals of countries that are in a designated diplomatic service or mission under bilateral or international conventions.

I appeal to all the people of Cyprus, that it makes use of the crossings in absolutely necessary cases.

C. The suspension of attendance at public and private schools in the country is extended until April 10.

During the suspension of the operation of public schools, the Ministry of Education will ensure that the educational program is covered.

Countrywomen, countrymen,

The measures I mentioned above do not affect the unhindered commercial activity of the country, as we do not impose any restrictions on imports and exports.

For this reason, unnecessary disturbance is not justified.

Countrywomen, countrymen,

As I have pointed out, in addition to protecting the health of the people, it is also important to secure income and work with the support of workers, businesses and economically vulnerable groups.

The financial performance of recent years allows us to take decisive action to support employees and employers and those affected by the crisis humanity is facing.

In this context, the Government will in the coming days present a comprehensive program of economic support, based on the dialogue already held with the parliamentary parties and social partners.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude as well as my warm thanks to both the political forces and the social partners, who, in a climate of co-operation and collegiality, have helped to shape the package to be announced.

Dear friends,

In closing I think it would be an unreasonable omission if I did not express the warmest thanks and the utmost gratitude on behalf of myself and the state to health professionals and to others who go beyond themselves in order to effectively deal with an epidemic affecting all of us indiscriminately.

At the same time, I would like to express my sympathy and support to those who have been afflicted and their families and to express my wishes for speedy recovery.


I have no doubt that with the determination of the state, the collective responsibility and social sensitivity that we, as a people, have repeatedly shown at critical times, we will succeed in overcoming this challenge.

Strength to all."

The President's address (in Greek):



Cyprus  |  President  |  Anastasiades  |  coronavirus  |  address  |  measures  |  airports  |  lockdown

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