NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The government of Cyprus said Wednesday it will require all passengers arriving from China to produce evidence of a negative coronavirus test as the Asian country grapples with a nationwide COVID-19 outbreak.
The Health Ministry said it was heeding the advice of the European Union’s executive arm in requiring passengers to submit results from a PCR test taken 48 hours before their departure date.
The ministry also recommended the use of a protective face mask on all flights to and from Cyprus as well as any areas where people gather in large numbers.
The Cypriot government said the measures would take effect beginning Sunday, Jan. 15.
The director of the World Health Organization’s Europe office has said the agency sees “no immediate threat ” for the European region from China’s coronavirus outbreak.
Hans Kluge said that assessment was based on the information WHO had received from China. He said more detailed and regular information was needed from the country to monitor the evolving situation.
Several countries have imposed COVID-19 testing requirements on travelers from China.
Cyprus has seen a roughly 1% increase in the coronavirus infection rate over the last two weeks, from 4.86% during Dec. 23-Dec. 29 to 5.81% during Dec. 30-Jan 5, according to Health Ministry figures.
A tender process will be launched to select a company that will be tasked with collecting and analyzing waste matter from the island nation’s two airports as well as aircraft to check for any potential ailments that could be carried from abroad.
___ This story has been corrected to clarify that screening measures for arriving passengers from China are to set to begin on Jan. 15, not March 15.