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COVID19: Over 300 UK arrivals to spend Christmas in quarantine

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More than 300 passengers arriving from the UK will be in Cyprus quarantine for Christmas to prevent the spread of a virulent new strain of coronavirus found recently in Britain.

On Wednesday, Cyprus will receive another eight flights from the UK, two days after the government imposed an obligatory seven-day quarantine for all passengers arriving from there.

Among those returning include Cypriot students wanting to spend time with their families during the festive holidays.

The scheduled flights from the UK on Wednesday, include three to Larnaca by British Airways, EasyJet, and Wizz Air.

Another five flight are expected at the Paphos Airport, with EasyJet and Ryanair flying in from Liverpool, London, Edinburgh, and Bristol.

Passengers arriving in Cyprus have to undergo a coronavirus test upon arrival, under a Ministry of Health decree issued on Monday, before being taken to a government-designated hotel for quarantine.

The Transport Ministry told the Financial Mirror it was uncertain how many more passengers will be quarantined at hotels paid for by the state due to last-minute cancellations.

As of Tuesday afternoon, it is estimated that more than 300 people are quarantined in hotels where they are to spend Christmas Holidays.

Three flights from Britain landed at Larnaca airport on Tuesday carrying a total of 185 passengers while another 68 arrived at the Paphos Airport.

The Transport Ministry said that some 50 passengers arriving on Monday night have also been taken to quarantine at designated hotels.

As of Monday, 6pm, all passengers arriving from the UK have to quarantine for a minimum of seven days in a state-designated facility, the Health Ministry announced changing earlier plans on self-isolation.

The move came after most EU countries banned UK flights when Britain said it had found a new strain of the coronavirus.

Cyprus opted against an outright ban on flights from the UK as other European Union countries have done.

The measure is compulsory for all passenger over the age of 18, whilst minors have can self-isolate at home.

People under state quarantine will undergo a PCR test after seven days. If they are found to be negative to the virus, they will be instructed to self-isolate at home for another three days.

Given that they do not develop symptoms, people can end their isolation after the tenth day.