Cyprus has extended a ban on all commercial flights introduced on 21 March for another two weeks until mid-April to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Cypriot authorities have decided to extend the ban that was to end midnight on Saturday (April 4).
“(After) evaluating the situation in the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the dramatic situation in other European countries and worldwide, we (decided to) extend the decree on a total ban on flights for another 14 days,” tweeted Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos on Thursday.
The additional 14 days extends the no-flight ban to Cyprus until April 18.
The Transport Ministry clarified to the Financial Mirror: “It is an extension of the decree which imposed a flight ban to our airports applicable to all countries. The decree will not list countries but declare a total ban with the exceptions announced (e.g. cargo) in the original decree”.
An official of the ministry said exceptions include cargo flights from a list of 28 countries earlier announced, which include Greece and the UK, flights taking foreign nationals stranded on the island back home, and other extraordinary flights which will take place for humanitarian reasons”.
Anybody repatriated to Cyprus will be quarantined for 14 days at a facility designated by the authorities.
As of Wednesday evening, Cyprus has recorded 320 coronavirus cases and COVID-19 nine deaths.
The island has imposed tough restrictions on free movement, including a night curfew and allowing people to leave their homes only once a day with permission.
All public places like parks, marinas and playgrounds are also out of bounds, while retail shops, businesses, cinemas, gyms restaurants, clubs and bars have all be shut down.
Essential businesses like supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries and banks are open to the public.