Originally this post was to be about the small number of known cases of COVID-19 that were in Cyprus. The situation hasn’t changed in so far that there are still only six cases, hence the image above showing six people in a group. What has changed though is the category in which Cyprus had placed the UK in its attempt to halt incoming persons who are carriers of the virus. The UK has been put back into category 2 after initialing placing the UK in category 2, then changing that to category 3. Now, according to one media report, that has changed back again to category 2. Though I have to say, as of posting this piece, the official government website does not reflect this information. It seems there is, not surprisingly, a degree of confusion here. Category 2 states the following:-
Self-isolation under telephone monitoring at home or premises to be suggested by Health Ministry (restrict close contact and movement, keep basic rules of hygiene and monitor and report symptoms to the call centre 1420) for 14 days after their departure
This means that as at 14th March 2020 anyone arriving in Cyprus from the UK will be placed in quarantine for 14 days and monitored by telephone, presumably by daily contact. So, if you arriving here for a seven day holiday you will be spending those seven days, plus another seven days, in quarantine and you will have no choice in the matter.
Why are we concerned with what’s happening to UK citizens? Well, we are both from the UK and have families in the UK. We also have our apartment in Paphos that we rent out as a holiday let and that has bookings from April onwards. So yes, what effects the UK in general also effects us. Add to this that Cyprus relies heavily on the tourist trade and that the biggest number of visitors to Cyprus are from the UK, you can see why travel restrictions may concern us.
I am expecting more draconian measures to be carried out following the USA’s decision to ban all EU nationals in the 26 Schengen countries from coming into the United States. Jordan, only an hours flight from Cyprus, has apparently, according to my step-daughter, banned all travel into and from their country by land or air. As my step-daughter and her family are now trapped in Jordan, her and her husband are teachers there, it’s a little disconcerting to know we, here in Cyprus, can only offer them support via phone or Facebook. Thank goodness for technology.
Since my wife and I moved to Cyprus 12 years ago this year, we have faced a lot of crises situations. The month we arrived, September 2008, the world was in a crisis with a global financial meltdown. In 2013 there was a banking meltdown in Cyprus and the government were propped up by an EU/IMF bailout. We have weathered these and other storms. But the Coronavirus is something very different because if we were to catch this virus, our ages and our underlying health issues could see us at the very least being seriously ill. A financial crisis is one thing, but a crisis where you very life may be at stake is something else.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2020