COVID19: Compulsory PCR testing at airports

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Compulsory PCR testing was introduced Monday for all travellers arriving at Cyprus airports to curb the spread of coronavirus and screen for the Omicron variant.

Until 10 January, all passengers arriving in Cyprus will undergo a compulsory PCR test at Larnaca and Paphos airports with a €15 charge irrespective of vaccination status.

Cruise passengers entering ports for a short stay must hold a negative PCR test with a validity of up to 72 hours.

Upon arrival, they will be required to undergo a rapid antigen detection test, paid for by the government.

Cyprus has yet to detect the Omicron variant in its territory.

It has banned entry to people from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Botswana.

Also from 6 December until the end of the month, 20% of the staff at companies or organisations, except essential services, will have to work remotely.

The National Guard will suspend calling reservists to report for compulsory military duty until 28 February.

All Christmas and other kinds of gatherings inside and outside shopping malls are suspended through to 10 January.

Any other events organised by municipalities, communities and places of religious worship can take place provided the local authorities and organisers are responsible for observing all health protocols.

The government also recommended school excursions not be organised privately. School-sanctioned trips have already been suspended.

Health authorities are witnessing daily cases peaking above 600, their highest level since August.

Cyprus is trying to improve its adult vaccination rate, which is 81.3%, with around 68% of the population covered.

Booster shots are gradually being made available to everyone over 18, and Cyprus expects to start vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 from late December.

Cyprus has reported a total of 136,832 COVID-19 cases and 601 deaths.