Repatriations are picking up during Holy Week, with the aim of reaching a target of about 2000 Cypriots and legal residents every two weeks — on a par with the quarantine facilities available, South Cyprus Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos told CNA on Tuesday.
He said that authorities have drawn up a plan of action, beginning with the UK and Greece.
Most of those belonging to the vulnerable groups have already returned, and in the next 15 and 20 days, repatriations will be according to the preferred two week period given by those who qualify under the criteria.
A total of 1971 have stated they wish to be repatriated between April 15 and 30 of whom 758 are students on foundation courses or in their first year as undergraduates.
Once first year and foundation course students are repatriated, it will be the turn of other Cypriots and legal residents to return, he said.
Planning will continue as long as the decree prohibiting commercial flights continues and depending on availability in the quarantine facilities, people will be able to return.
He added that tenders will be invited for the price of tickets per airport and area, based on the grouping carried out by the Foreign Ministry. Those repatriating will cover the cost of their ticket.
Those eligible will then be informed by the Foreign Ministry on the flight they can take, the cost and the procedures that will be followed on their arrival which includes two weeks of quarantine in state facilities. The airline will then contact them to issue the ticket.
Karousos said most interest was from the UK, followed by Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and the US.
One-third of each flight will be empty for preventive reasons — therefore a 189 seat airplane will be able to bring 112 passengers.