Cyprus Mail

Schools to open on Friday (Update 2)

Secondary schools will open on Friday, the education ministry said, following a decision to postpone their opening for a day because of the dust covering the island.

“The education ministry has reached this final decision following consultations with the health ministry, the labour inspection department, and the Met office,” an announcement said.

Pupils with respiratory and other health problems should remain indoors, the ministry said. It added that no sports activities will take place.

“The education ministry will monitor the situation and take all necessary measures for the smooth running of classes and the safe accommodation of pupils and teachers.”

Schools had been scheduled to open on Thursday but it was decided to push it back by a day due to the thick dust that covered the island.

Primary schools are scheduled to open on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) announced on Thursday it will postpone weekend fixtures if dust in the atmosphere exceeded certain levels.

The CFA said games will not be played if PM10 levels exceed 200 microgrammes per cubic metre at the cities where they were scheduled to be played. Normal levels should be 50 microgrammes per cubic metre.

Measurements will be carried out at around 4pm on match day, the CFA said.

Postponed games will be played 24 hours later if conditions permit.

Dust levels are expected to begin to subside on Friday according to met service’s Sofia Louka and a new dust cloud from Africa’s Sahara would make no difference.

“It’s not like it’s a completely new dust wave that will make things worse, people won’t notice any difference” she told the Cyprus Mail.

By midday on Thursday, the dust in Nicosia fell to 130 microgrammes per cubic metre while Limassol saw 198. Larnaca and Paphos recorded 442 and 90 microgrammes respectively.

The dust was expected to remain over the weekend.

Maximum temperature across the island on Thursday was in Nicosia at 36°C while for Friday the weather forecast says it will be 41°C. Normal temperatures at this time of year are 34°C.

On Sunday and Monday a significant drop in temperatures –about five degrees – is expected with a reduced risk of a dust cloud, Louka said.

Up to date information on air quality can be found at AirQuality

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