President Nicos Anastasiades

Cyprus has announced it will shut its borders for 15 days to fight the deadly coronavirus.

The measures include a ban on entry as of Sunday for 15 days to any citizen regardless of nationality ,who are not Cypriot nationals, legal residents, European or third-country nationals working or studying in the Republic, nationals of countries that are in a designated diplomatic service or mission under bilateral or international conventions, and individual cases of European or third country nationals who have professional obligations that cannot be avoided, provided they have obtained authorisation from the competent ministry.

He also said that only Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would be allowed to use the crossings, as well as legal residents of the Republic and members of diplomatic missions.

The state address came only hours before the health services announced there were seven more confirmed cases. These concerned five people who had come in close contact with two confirmed cases in recent days. All five were in self-isolation. Another case concerns a person who was being monitored at the Limassol hospital. The seventh case is a person recently arrived from the UK, and who was also in self-isolation.

The latest cases bring the total in the government-controlled areas to 21 and five in the north.

The measure would come into effect from March 15, he said in a state address yesterday.

Authorities also extended a school shutdown until April 10.

EU member Cyprus reported its first two cases of coronavirus on Monday. By Friday, the number had reached 26 on both sides including the illegally occupied island.

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