The Ministry of Health issued new instructions for repatriates as Sunday’s tally of confirmed cases was mostly from people who returned home from the UK.
The Ministry of Health decided that those who arrived in Cyprus within the previous government decree and were asked to leave on Monday, were given the option to either complete their 14-day stay at the hotel or remain in isolation at home.
The decision was taken by the Ministry of Health after a recommendation of the Transport Ministry and the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, following a request by a number of people to protect themselves and their families.
Those who arrive from Monday and until 8th June, will undergo a COVID-19 test and will be transferred to hotels until the result is ready. If the result is positive, they will either be transferred for isolation at the Eden resort Wellness, Rehabilitation Centre or remain at home isolation and will be monitored by their personal physician. If the result is negative, they will remain in self-isolation, according to the provisions of the decrees and health protocols.
Those who are close contacts of confirmed cases will remain in quarantine at hotels for two more days and will undergo a second COVID-19 test to ascertain whether they became ill from contact with a confirmed case during repatriation. If the second test is negative, they will return home to complete the 14-day self-isolation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Petros Karayiannis, a Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School and member of the Ministry of Health Scientific Advisory Committee urged repatriates from now on to take seriously the situation and remain in self-isolation.
He said the situation remains stable while the seven confirmed cases announced on Sunday from repatriates were “imported” and not locally infected. He also said schools are now in a routine.
Karayiannis said that we must allow 15 days to see the results of the second relaxation of the lockdown measures.
Regarding repatriates, he said they will undergo tests, especially those who returned from the UK.
However, he said they need to appreciate the seriousness of the situation and follow measures and self-isolate responsibly.
When the airports re-open on 9 June, Karayiannis said that there will be at least three hotels for quarantine, if tourists become ill.
He expressed the view hotels are ready to open and are prepared, according to the decrees. There are enough outdoor areas and he did not believe there will be crowding.
Regarding the opening of churches, he said everything went smoothly with the priests completely aware of what to do and there was order inside the churches.
What concerns the Scientific Advisory Committee, he said, is the overcrowding at cafeterias and restaurants where self-protection measures and especially distances are not adhered to.
We are worried because if there is a case and transmission, it will be hard to know from where someone became infected as tracing will become harder.
As far as beaches are concerned, he said due to the weather conditions, it was not possible to see if people were maintaining distances or if the beds were properly cleaned. Karayiannis said beds need to be properly disinfected. “Even if they spray we have to ensure that when the wind blows, it doesn`t take away the spray or dries it quickly and doesn`t have time to act. It is something that the municipalities should need to handle well “, he added.