COVID19: Cypriot students take legal action over repatriation

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Two students studying abroad have taken legal action seeking to obtain a court order to force the Cyprus government to bring them home during the COVID-19 emergency.

Although the government has chartered flights to repatriate over 1,200 Cypriots stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has so far declined to bring back thousands of Cypriot studying abroad.

Cyprus on Thursday extended the commercial flight ban until April 18.

Attorney-General Costas Clerides told CNA that the two students appealed to the District and Administrative Courts seeking temporary emergency decrees allowing them to repatriate to Cyprus.

They contest the constitutionality and legitimacy of the government’s measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

“Every citizen, of course, has the right to exercise his/her individual legal rights before courts,” Clerides said.

He added that at the same time, the Republic has the right and obligation to defend the legality of taking the painful measures it did for the common good.

The AG said that although he did not believe that during these critical times Cyprus and the world are going through, one should engage in litigation over the legality of measures that concern life or death, but since the students exercised their rights, justice cannot remain silent.

Cypriot diplomat tests positive

A diplomat of the Cyprus Foreign Ministry has been found positive to COVID-19.

The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) said the diplomat had come into contact with a small number of colleagues t the ministry and that as soon as he tested positive to the coronavirus, his contacts were traced.

The Foreign Ministry was shut down Wednesday night, following instructions by Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, so that its premises could be deep cleaned and staff would be able to go back into the building Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a total of 12,651 registered to the online platform connect2cy where Cypriots abroad can register. The platform was launched on March 31 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the Cypriots that registered, 60% are university students, live in 100 different countries with the majority from the UK, Greece, Germany, Netherlands and the US.