A red warning is in place for Friday, from 11am to 5pm, as temperatures are expected to peak at 45C inland and 35 in the mountains.

The met office said early on Friday that the previous amber warning is cancelled and is preplaced by the red warning.

All public primary, nursery and special schools will close early, at 10.45am, while optional all-day schools will not open at all.

Supportive classes in high schools will also end at 10.45am.

Students who do not show up on Friday will not be charged with an absence.

The ministry of education has called on all schools to use air-conditioned rooms wherever possible.

Final exams in public schools across Cyprus will take place as scheduled, with economics, chemistry and technology.

Successful candidates can use the results to secure a place in universities in Cyprus and Greece.

The vast majority of private preschools and kindergartens will remain open on Friday despite high temperatures that will force state education to close early, the association representing the private sector said on Thursday.