COVID19: Cypriot students in Athens rush to get home

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Cypriot students studying in Athens are trying to find a last-minute ticket home in an effort to beat the government’s restrictive entry measures to be activated on Monday evening.

Measures, which essentially place the country under lockdown, requires Cypriots and residents to present test results proving they are COVID-19 negative before being allowed in.

Those without a medical certificate will be turned backed.

According to reports, scores of students have descended on Athens International Airport looking for a ticket to return home, pushing prices up. A single ticket to Larnaca from Athens is costing up to €415.

Students in Athens began searching for a ticket home once they heard President Nicos Anastasiades announce the new measures on Sunday, soon after ticket prices shot up.

Reportedly, tickets to Larnaca on Friday were an affordable €70 before the new draconian measures were announced.

As of 6 pm on Monday, only citizens of the Republic, permanent residents or diplomats will be allowed through the official ports of entry, on the condition they have medical proof that they are not infected by the virus.

The test should have been carried out in less than four days prior to arrival.

Anyone arriving in Cyprus, whether carrying a certificate of “good health” or not, will be automatically quarantined for 14 days at facilities designated by the Republic’s health services.

Entry restrictions will be in force until 30 April.

The government has urged students abroad to stay where they are and offered them a 750 euro allowance to remain overseas until the situation improves.

As of Sunday night, a total of 33 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus in the republic. Turkish Cypriot authorities have reported another 6 cases, bringing the total island-wide to 39.