Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides on Thursday visited the recruitment centre (KEN) in Larnaca to address the new recruits who have started their national service facing new procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Petridis praised the newly implemented electronic classification process, calling it “an important step towards more transparency”.
He said the new system will be implemented permanently at all KENs and strengthened where necessary, claiming there are tremendous benefits from the new technological developments.
Petridis also thanked the government after it has announced that health authorities would conduct 1,000 tests for coronavirus on conscripts.
The tests will be random and will be spread across all recruitment centres. Priority would be given to those who had not undergone testing during an education ministry programme that screened 20,000 students and school personnel.
Petridis added that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the swearing-in ceremony for new recruits will not take place this year.
In addition to that, the recruits this year will not be trained at the KENs during the first few weeks of their service as in other years but will be sent directly to their units and receive training there.
Asked about possible Covid-related concerns regarding leave days for recruits, Petridis said that those who are stationed far away from their homes will be granted weekend leaves to give them the opportunity to have more time at their disposal.
“As for those who live close to their camp, they will be granted leave twice a week. We consider that to be within the framework of the health guidelines issued by the government, which rest assured we will follow strictly,” he said.