Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Cyprus extends all coronavirus-related restrictions, including curfew, through at least April 20. Flights remain suspended.

This alert affects Cyprus

This alert began 18 Apr 2020 21:43 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Period: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Cypriot authorities have extended all of the nation's existing measures related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through at least April 30. The nightly 2100-0600 curfew that started on March 31 will remain in force. Residents may not be outside their homes during curfew hours, with the exception of individuals in possession of special permits allowing employment-related travel. Moreover, during non-curfew hours, persons over the age of 65 are restricted to exiting their homes only once a day for the purpose of performing certain essential tasks; seniors within this age group must be in possession of a special permit, which they must validate by sending a text to 8998 each time they exit their homes. Additionally, gatherings inside of residences also remain banned, with only the actual residents of the domicile in question being allowed to enter. Curfew violations are punishable by a fine of EUR 300 (USD 331).

Cyprus has suspended all passenger flights since March 21; however, the suspension does not affect cargo flights, repatriation flights or empty aircraft arriving to transport persons wishing to leave Cyprus. Additionally, all Cypriot citizens returning from abroad are subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. There have been 761 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cyprus as of April 18.

Background and Analysis
The measures undertaken by the Cypriot government are similar to actions taken by other European governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Cyprus Government: cyprus.gov.cy

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int