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COVID19: Cyprus extends flight ban until 17 May

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Cyprus on Friday extended a ban on all commercial flights introduced on 21 March for another 17 days until mid-May to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

This is the third time authorities have extended the flight ban, after it was renewed from the 4 -18 April and then again on April 18-30.

Cypriot authorities have decided to extend the airports lockdown that was to end midnight on April 30 for more than two weeks.

“I inform you that we have decided to extend the decree on a total ban on flights for another 17 days,” tweeted Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos on Friday.

The additional 17 days extends the no-flight ban to Cyprus until May 17.

The Transport Ministry in comments to the Financial Mirror had clarified: “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 flights) 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”.

Meanwhile, the government’s program to repatriate citizens stranded abroad after travelling for medical reasons, as well as students participating in a foundation program at a university abroad or are in the first year of their studies is continuing.

Some 1500 are expected to return to the island over the next five days onboard a total of 13 flights, 10 are from the UK.

Anybody repatriated to Cyprus will be quarantined for 14 days at a facility designated by the authorities.

As of Thursday, Cyprus has recorded 795 coronavirus cases and 13 COVID-19 deaths.