Schools across Cyprus received bomb threats by email on Friday morning.

The bomb threats are so far believed to be hoaxes, though some schools immediately took measures and evacuated children from their classrooms.

Primary school teachers union Poad chairwoman Myria Vassiliou said the threat had been sent to primary and secondary schools, and that all the relevant safety protocols had been followed.

In some schools, she added, firefighters had already inspected buildings and children had returned to their classrooms.

The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) said that in response, the education ministry had sent “reassuring messages” to parents of some impacted pupils, telling them that schools are “in contact with the authorities” and that there is “no cause for concern”.

In other schools, they said, pupils remained in the playground until further notice with inspections of the buildings to follow.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou spoke CNA on Friday afternoon, saying both the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and the equivalent European Union body Europol are both assisting in the Cypriot police’s efforts to locate the sender of the email.

He added that the email “appears to have been sent from a foreign country”.

In addition, he spoke about the extraordinary meeting which was held at the police headquarters in Nicosia to discuss the matter.

The meeting was attended by police chief Stelios Papatheodorou, education ministry permanent secretary Marina Ioannou Hasapi and other figures.

Education Minister Athena Michaelidou is unable to attend the meeting as she is abroad.

Andreou said that at the meeting, “actions were evaluated and coordinated”, while schools were given instructions on how to proceed in line with pre-defined protocols.

He added that the protocols allow for children to be evacuated from classrooms while police are notified of the issue.

“From the first moment, the police have been carrying out all the necessary examinations, while continuing its investigations into the case,” he added.

He added that with inspections at schools now coming to an end, “the threat in question has now been assessed as ‘low risk’ and does not provoke any cause for concern at this stage.”

With this in mind, he said schools are returning to scheduled classes once inspections of their buildings have been complete.

Newspaper Phileleftheros reported earlier on Friday that the email appeared to have originated in Russia, but that this may have been done through a virtual private network (VPN), which can alter the appearance of an internet user’s location.

Additionally, secondary school pupils’ parents’ associations’ union chairman Loizos Constantinou told Phileleftheros scheduled school examinations had gone ahead as planned, “without delays or difficulties”.