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COVID19: Cyprus to introduce speed tests at airports

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Cyprus airports will be speed testing Cypriots and tourists who were unable to get a coronavirus test at their country of departure, eliminating the need for an overnight stay at a quarantine facility.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said: “In the next few days we will be moving ahead with new procedures so that we can have the results of tests within one-and-a-half-hours.

This means a traveller will not need to remain in quarantine until the result is out but can wait at the airport.”

The development comes as concerns over the number of cases detected among people who were recently repatriated increases, with the majority of daily cases connected to repatriation.

Until June 20, all travellers arriving in Cyprus must provide proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 a maximum of 72 hours prior to arrival.

Cypriots and other travellers who reside permanently in Cyprus, who can prove that such tests are not easily available in their country of departure can take the test upon arrival but must remain in a designated quarantine facility for 24 hours or until the result is known.

From June 20, the test will not be required for countries categorised in group A, such as Greece, Malta, Germany and Austria.

Travellers from countries in group B will still need a coronavirus test, while arrivals from countries that are in group C not only require a coronavirus certificate (or a test at the airport) but must self-isolate for 14 days.

Asked to comment whether the fact that the majority of new coronavirus cases detected in the past few days involved people with a travel history, would change government plans, Karousos replied:  “On the contrary, it confirms the fact that we have done a good job in preparing for the opening of the airports.”

Cyprus lifted a ban on commercial flights on June 9.