Cyprus implemented a nationwide lockdown to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) from 18:00 (local time) on Tuesday, March 24, through Monday, April 13. Individuals will be banned from leaving their homes during the aforementioned period. The ban does not apply in specific cases such as for trips to pharmacies, supermarkets, or work. Public transit will continue to function to allow for these limited excursions. Additionally, the government has closed all type of public spaces and all private businesses, including parks, religious venues, retail stores, night clubs, hotels, and malls. Some restaurants continue to serve takeaway options. Anyone violating the restriction will face a EUR 150 fine.
The Cyprus government announced on Tuesday, March 17, that it will be suspending flights to and from Larnaca (LCA) and Paphos (PFO) International Airport from some countries, with the exception of cargo and humanitarian flights until Saturday, April 4. The countries affected by the suspension are Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the UK, and Greece.
Meanwhile, an entry ban on all foreign travelers, except for Cyprus nationals and individuals with a residence permit, remains in place since Sunday, March 15. Individuals who are authorized to enter Cyprus will need to submit a medical certificate from a doctor in the country of origin to prove that they do not have COVID-19 and will be placed under mandatory 14-day quarantine at accommodation facilities provided by the government.
As of Wednesday, March 25, health officials have confirmed 124 cases of the virus in Cyprus. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.