The number of random Covid-19 tests to be held among arriving passengers from Group A and B countries is to be doubled from 300 to 600 a day, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday.
It said the decision was taken on the advice of the team of scientists advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak.
Passengers from Group A countries do not need to show they have tested negative for coronavirus, but those coming from Group B countries must show a negative test no older than 72 hours.
Authorities have been carrying out random tests — 300 a day — among both groups to monitor the situation.
All Group C arrivals (only Cypriots and legal residents are allowed to travel to Cyprus from this group) undergo a test and must also self-isolate for 14 days.
The Health Ministry said it had also adopted a proposal by the team of scientists to multiply the tests using a specific method at lower cost with the aim of maximising the number of the people who will be tested.
The proposal has been forwarded to the relevant departments and is expected to implemented in the next few days.
“In view of the expansion of the flight programme to Cyprus’ airports, the increase in the number of tests aims to ensure than imported infections are detected early, allowing by extension the better management of these people and restricting the possibility of transmission in the community, thereby retaining epidemiological indices at the same positive levels,” the ministry said.
The data is also used for the classification of the countries for arrivals to Cyprus, it added.