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COVID19: Cyprus moves people to hotels for quarantine

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After complaining of “unacceptable” conditions, around 75 people quarantined when trying to enter Cyprus have been moved to mountain resort hotels in Troodos, officials said Wednesday.

Cyprus Hotel Association President Haris Loizides told state broadcaster CyBC that three hotels in the area were being used as quarantine facilities after reaching an agreement with the government.

“They cannot go down to reception and they cannot go for a walk. They have to understand that quarantine means complete isolation, even with members of the same family,” Loizides said.

Some 75 people – including 30 Cypriots students – who arrived from the UK on Monday without the required health certificate, to prove they were coronavirus-free, were taken into quarantine.

Cypriot authorities said it would turn anyone back who did not have the required health documentation, it decided to make an exception for the first flights after Monday’s deadline.

Even with proof of not having coronavirus everyone entering the country must automatically go into government quarantine for 14 days.

Those placed in quarantine complained the conditions were “inhumane” and “unacceptable” with some people crowded four to a room, no medical staff or soap available.

The authorities started moving people to hotels following the complaints, but some said they were still lacking basic needs.

“We are happy to be quarantined for good reason, but we are lacking basic needs,” a woman currently at the Troodos Hotel told the Cyprus Mail newspaper on Wednesday.

“I have been asking for medication since we arrived…but still nothing, there are still no doctors, we are just confined here.

“We have no water and I haven’t eaten for two days because they didn’t bring enough food for everyone.”

Hotels have become available as quarantine facilities after the government ordered all tourist establishments to shut by March 21.

Cyprus said Wednesday it was banning all flights to the island from March 21 for a period of 14 days.

The Republic of Cyprus has confirmed 49 Covid-19 cases and the Turkish-held north of the island has reported 20, making a combined islandwide total of 69.