News Local BHC: Coronavirus advice for UK nationals in Cyprus

BHC: Coronavirus advice for UK nationals in Cyprus

 

The British High Commission has published a coronavirus FAQ for UK nationals living in the Republic of Cyprus which addresses issues such as flights, lock down regulations and health care  arrangements for UK nationals.

The FAQ below is taken from the Facebook page of the British High Commission in Nicosia.

Flights
  • Are there currently any flights in and out of the Republic of Cyprus?
There is a near complete ban on flights to and from Cyprus from 21 March until 17 April. Although some commercial flights are still able to leave Cyprus, only humanitarian and cargo flights may arrive.
  • I am a British resident in Cyprus and need to travel back to the UK. What can I do?
Please follow our Travel Advice and social media channels (UKinCyprus on Facebook and Twitter) for further updates on flight options.
There are currently extremely limited commercial options available to return to the UK from Cyprus due to the local restrictions in force.
We know this is concerning for British people trying to leave Cyprus. The UK government is working closely with airlines, the Cypriot authorities and other governments to make sure options are available for you to return to the UK as soon as possible.
  • I am a British resident of Cyprus, currently in the UK, and want to return to Cyprus. What should I do?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against all but essential travel overseas. Airports in Cyprus are currently closed to incoming passenger flights. You are advised to remain where you are and make alternative arrangements.

Lockdown regulations

  • Is Cyprus implementing lockdown measures?
A series of measures has been introduced limiting movement for the island’s inhabitants. Only essential stores and services remain open. You should request permission to leave your home through the dedicated SMS facility or written forms (for individuals over 65) to justify your movements.
  • What movements outside the home are permitted under the current lockdown?
You can find the latest list of restrictions here. Apart from movements to/from pharmacies, doctors, blood donation centres and to help people in need of supplies, you are entitled to make one movement outside the home per day.
  • Can I send an SMS to 8998 from a UK number?
No. The SMS option is not available from a UK mobile phone. You can purchase a local pay-as-you-go SIM card from any kiosk. You may need to speak to your UK network provider to allow you to use another SIM card.
  • Are there alternate ways to request permission to go outdoors?
Official Cypriot government advice is for all those under 65 years old to use the SMS service. A printed form (see above) exists for the over 65s to request permission to go outdoors. In extremis, you should use this form.
  • What’s the penalty for violating the lockdown regulations?
Anyone violating the lockdown regulations will be fined with €300.
The Ministry of Interior & Civil Defence have set up four helpline numbers for anyone wishing to clarify details of movement restrictions. These are: 22421600, 22495666, 22495671 & 22421745.
  • How can I travel to work during the lockdown period?
UK nationals employed in Cyprus need to fill out this form and have their employer sign it off in order to be able to go to their place of work and back.

UK residents requiring welfare assistance

  • I’m stuck in Cyprus and don’t have money for accommodation. What can I do?
You should seek support from friends or family who will be able to send financial support either by bank transfer or money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
  • Are UK nationals who are resident in Cyprus able to access any state financial support from the Cyprus government?
The Labour Ministry has announced that parents, private sector employees and the self-employed can submit applications for financial assistance via a special portal. British nationals who are legally resident in Cyprus should be entitled to access these benefits on the same basis as Cypriots and other EU nationals.
Five different schemes have been launched by the Cypriot government:
  • Parents taking special leave to care for their children (aged until 15) or for children with disabilities should complete this application form.
  • Individuals seeking special sick leave (for confirmed carriers of Covid-19 and persons in self-isolation) should complete this form.
  • Self-employed persons seeking financial support should complete this form.
  • Owners/directors of businesses that have completely suspended operations should complete this form.
  • And representatives of businesses that have partially suspended operations should complete this form.
In addition, all persons working in the private sector must fill out form EEA6 with their bank account details, available here.
  • Where can I seek help to complete these forms?
A hotline number is in operation from 08:00 am to 18:00 Monday to Friday to answer questions on all labour and welfare issues relating to the COVID pandemic. You should call 1433, valid from a Cypriot mobile number only.

Healthcare

  • What do I do if I have coronavirus symptoms?
If you display any symptoms of Covid-19 you should call 1420 (dialable from any device).
  • How can UK nationals resident in Cyprus access healthcare on island?
UK nationals permanently residing in Cyprus can find all the necessary information on healthcare in our Living in Cyprus Guide on gov.uk.
  • I am a British tourist in Cyprus. Can I access healthcare in Cyprus?
Yes. You can access public health services in Cyprus if you are here temporarily, including for prescription medication. You should visit a doctor at a public hospital or health centre who will prescribe your required medication or the closest equivalent. The prescription will be fulfilled by a public sector pharmacy (within the public hospitals). You should present your EHIC or replacement document when requested.
Alternatively, you can visit a private doctor or hospital for which you will have to pay, and then reclaim the cost from your travel insurance.
  • How can I arrange a hospital visit?
You can find a list of hospitals which British tourists in Cyprus are eligible to use here. Please note that Famagusta hospital is currently not dealing with walk in appointments as it is being used for Coronavirus cases.
You should call in advance for advice on visiting hospitals safely during this period, and to check whether they are still accepting non-residents.
  • Can I still use local health services if I don’t have an EHIC card?
Yes. If you don’t hold a European Health Insurance Card/Provisional Replacement Certificate, you can use your Travel insurance or any other insurance to see a private sector doctor. You can replace your current EHIC card here.

Residency and Citizens’ Rights issues

  • I am in the middle of applying for permanent residency but haven’t yet received settled status in Cyprus. I am worried about the delay coronavirus will cause to this process. What should I do?
The Cypriot government is currently only operating essential services. This includes many of the services linked to processing residency applications for MEU1 or MEU3 documents, or exchanging driving licences
The Cypriot government has assured us that UK nationals will be able to continue to apply for their residency documents when full government services are resumed. The current pause in the processing of applications will not impact your residency status. All UK nationals who are resident in Cyprus and fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will retain their residency rights irrespective of the fact that their residency applications will be submitted at a later date.
  • My passport is expiring and I have renewed online. How can I receive it?
There are currently no international flights coming into Cyprus and therefore no postal service for renewed passports to come to Cyprus from the UK.
UK nationals in Cyprus who have applied for a renewed passport should await the lifting of these measures in order to obtain their UK passport. Passport applications are completed online here.

 

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