Levels of dust in Cyprus’ atmosphere are not expected to reach the levels seen in Greece in recent days, the met office said on Wednesday.

“Some of the [dust] cloud seen over Greece will make its way towards our region, it will not be near the levels seen in Greece,” a met office representative told the Cyprus Mail.

He added that levels of dust in Cyprus’ atmosphere are expected to increase through Wednesday evening and Thursday, but that the dust is expected to dissipate and air quality will improve on Friday.

The skies above Athens and other parts of Greece had turned orange on Tuesday, as a dust cloud blown northwards from the Sahara blanketed the country’s south.

Athens Observatory weather research director Kostas Lagouvardos said the dust cloud created “one of the most serious episodes of dust and sand concentrations since 2018”.

Earlier on Wednesday, the health ministry advised people to “avoid activities and physical exercise outdoors” while dust levels are elevated, and “minimise where possible the amount of time spent outside”.

They added that those who do venture outdoors should “wear a protective mask covering their mouth and nose with a dust filter, or, alternatively, a wet wipe.”

They also said that people should avoid smoking and should visit their nearest accident and emergency department if they begin to cough up phlegm, suffer from difficulties in breathing, or experience other symptoms associated with dust.

In addition, they pointed out that “high risk groups of people”, including people with respiratory problems, heart disease, people with immune system deficiencies, and children and people over 65 years old, may be more likely to display symptoms and suffer more acutely from the increased dust levels.