Cyprus Mail

Migrants reception centre to close by Saturday

A reception centre, which hosted 345 migrants since last September, will close by Saturday, the Cyprus News Agency was told on Wednesday.

The 345 migrants, mainly of Syrian origin, were stranded aboard a small boat off Cyprus and were rescued by a Cypriot cruise ship.

Sources told CNA that the Purnara reception centre, in Kokkinotrimithia, where they were transferred after the rescue operation would close by Saturday.

The same sources said that those who have applied for political asylum were being transferred to Kophinou asylum centre, while those who have been granted a residence permit will make their own arrangements for accommodation.

The migrants had said after they were rescued that Cyprus was not their destination.

The Interior Ministry gave them a three-month period to decide whether they wished to apply for political asylum or for a temporary residence permit on humanitarian grounds. The reflection period ended in late December.

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