Two thousand Cypriots are expected to be repatriated by next week, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Tuesday as two flights carrying Cypriots arrived Larnaca airport.
Commenting on the repatriation scheme in place, Karousos said starting with this week’s flights, they are expecting to bring about 2,000 individuals by next week. He added that the figure corresponds with the maximum amount of space available in the quarantine hotels.
“The [repatriation] plan will continue based on the number of available quarantine beds,” he said.
Karousos said the repatriation flights will start with Cypriots stuck in the UK and Greece, and more flights from other countries will be scheduled later.
He added the individuals looking to be repatriated will also take on the cost of the ticket.
“Many of the people in the vulnerable groups have returned, and in the next 15 to 20 days, the first wave of individuals who expressed interest on the foreign ministry’s online platform will be repatriated,” he said.
So far, 1,971 people have filed to be repatriated between April 15 and 30, 758 of which are students on foundation courses or are first years at university.
Once their repatriation is complete, the rest of the of the citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to return to Cyprus.
Special fares will be requested on ticket prices based on airport and area location, he said.
The foreign ministry will then inform all the individuals able to take one of the repatriation flights, and on the cost and process to take. The airline will then communicate with the individuals. They will then be taken to a quarantine hotel for two weeks.
On Tuesday two planes arrived at Larnaca airport, and one departed.
A Cyprus Airways flight with 75 passengers on board left for Athens at 10am.
It returned at around 2.20pm with 120 people on board.
An Aegean Airlines flight from London’s Heathrow landed in Larnaca at around 5pm with 116 passengers.
Passengers were Cypriots who had been abroad for professional, personal or medical reasons and students belonging to vulnerable groups.