Cyprus Mail

Self-isolation for Greece and UK arrivals revoked due to massive implications (Updated)

Fearing potential huge economic damage, the government has decided to remove the UK and Greece, excluding the areas of Achaea, Ilia and Zakynthos, from the list of category 2 countries, which imposes self-isolation for 14 days on arrivals to the island.

People arriving from Hubei in China, Italy, Iran and the Republic of Korea will remain in category 1 under obligatory isolation and medical surveillance (quarantine) in their homes or health ministry areas.

Travellers arriving from the other areas of China (except Hubei), Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, France and Spain will be under obligatory self-isolation in their homes or health ministry areas for 14 days, and must avoid close contacts and movement.

Finally, along with passengers arriving from the UK and Greece (except for Achaea, Ilia and Zakynthos), people arriving from Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Singapore will restrict movements to the absolutely necessary, monitor their health and report any symptoms.

The health ministry had initially ruled that travellers coming from the UK and Greece should go under obligatory self-isolation for 14 days on arrival in Cyprus.

The move was likely a knee-jerk reaction following the news that one of the two people affected by coronavirus was a 64-year-old heart surgeon who contracted the virus on a visit to Britain and treated a patient the same night of his arrival home on March 3.

However, the decision to remove the UK and most of Greece from the list of category 2 countries and ease them into category 3 came after serious concerns from the tourism industry on the damage it would cause to the island.

A source told the Cyprus Mail on Tuesday following a meeting of industry players, that restricting the number of people coming to Cyprus from the UK, the mainstay of the entire tourism industry, would have destroyed the sector and inflicted huge and long-term damage on the economy.



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