RAF Akrotiri News

COVID-19 Latest Information 13 November 20

New direction regarding the COVID-19 Exit Plan and updates are posted here on receipt of official notification. Where possible it incorporates recent changes by the ROC. Travel Information will be updated if and when there are any new changes.

The overriding advice remains around social distancing, personal hygiene and face coverings, if in doubt (and where no specific guidance exists) err on the side of caution and stick with the strictest of measures.

*****Update 13 Nov 20******

This FRAGO  follows a tightening of restrictions announced by the RoC Government on 11 Nov 20. It rescinds the additional ‘circuit breaker’ measures introduced by HQ BFC in response to good behaviour and practices exhibited by the BFC Community. SBA and RoC measures currently in place are in response to the significant increase in positive cases across the island and within the SBAs. Our additional measures, like the RoC’s, are time-bounded, and will be continuously reviewed. Social distancing, good hygiene and discipline 1 Covid-19 How to self-isolate when you travel to the UK remain the most effective method of combating the spread of the virus. Following a recent increase in BFC/SBAA confirmed cases a re-set of behaviours is deemed necessary to best protect our population and maintain our operational outputs. Behaviour change across the workforce requires recognition that everyone is susceptible to the COVID19 virus and the impact this can have on themselves and others. Individual responsibility includes the moral courage and integrity to raise the issue to the CoC or the transgressor directly when something isn’t right, in alignment with our collective Values and Standards.

Situation 1.

Overview. a. UK Categorisation. The RoC epidemiology country assessment released on 6 Nov 20 announced that the UK is to remain a Category B country for travel to Cyprus.

b. Travel Corridors/UK Isolation. The Sovereign Base Areas will be removed from the England travel corridor list at 0400hrs on Saturday 14 Nov 20. If you arrive into England from the Sovereign Base Areas or the RoC after this date you will need to self-isolate1 . Waivers from UK Isolation, which include operational necessity and welfare resilience are available under the Defence Advice Note 18 (waivers for resilience welfare to be activated on Orders separately, pending issue of a revised DAN). Waiver applications are to be through the CoC to the JOCC for 2* approval.

c. Restrictive Measures. COVID-19 continues to pose a risk to the BFC community and a severe risk to operational capability. Following a recent and significant uptick in confirmed cases within the BFC community, there is a requirement to continue a reinforce BFC good behaviours and practices with restrictive measures in order to assist in preventing the spread of the virus. This ‘circuit breaker’, including the most recently announced RoC restrictions now includes some localised restrictions in place in the Paphos and Limassol districts. These district specific restrictions will be in place for a period of at least 15 days (12 Nov – 30 Nov inclusive). As of Wed 18 Nov  from 1700L all essential workers travelling to and from Limassol and Paphos Districts will need to a Negative PCR Test, which will be valid for 7 days and certification as an essential worker. The full implications of this testing requirement (and RoC capacity) are being worked through and further direction will be issued NB Mon 16 Nov 20 (PCR Application). Previously announced COVID-19 measures are expected to be in place until at least the 15 Jan 21 and will remain under regular review to ensure the SBAs remain in step with the RoC while continuing to deliver mission essential operational effect. Additional measures introduced for Limassol District (which includes the WSBA) are expected to be reviewed by the RoC on 16 Nov 20.

Mission 2. 

Intent. The SBAA and BFC will introduce robust control measures to PROTECT our communities and PREVENT the spread of COVID-19. These measures are conditions-based, reversible and will be enforced through the military chain of Command. We will maintain our critical outputs while amending our routine activities within the constraints of any self-imposed enduring controls. Compliance and a high degree of self-discipline will need to be maintained and enforced by the CoC. We all bear a major responsibility to ensure our personal hygiene, social behaviour and that of our families is fully compliant with the medical direction and SBAA law. Strict adherence to good personal hygiene and COVID-19 discipline now will help ensure we are best set to enjoy a safe Christmas period together with our friends and families. All Commanders have a duty to inform their people, whether they are newly arrived on assignment or not, on the rules and ensure compliance. 

Scheme of Manoeuvre. In addition to Ref A. SBAA and HQ BFC will impose some new ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions in the WSBA and seek to replicate RoC measures to PROTECT critical mission outputs and CONTAIN the risk of an outbreak, while REASSURING the population and the RoC. The introduction of these measures is designed to reduce the risk of transmission. The more targeted small changes we can make to our daily lives (some of them short term, some of them long term), the more we reduce the risk of community transmission. Stn Cdrs/COs are empowered Duty Holders for their people and can continue to impose additional measures to preserve operational outputs. 

The ‘circuit breaker’ continuation measures took effect in the SBAs from 12 2000L Nov 20, and will remain in place until the epidemiological situation in the RoC and SBAs allows for relaxation of restrictions to be re-introduced. It is anticipated that the WSBA specific restrictions will be in force until 30 Nov 20.

BFC ‘Circuit Breaker’ Measures – Pan BFC to include WSBA and ESBA. Within the BFC community the following measures should be adhered to until further notice. a. Workplace practices :

(1) Staff are to be encouraged to work from home where possible and practicable.

(2) Staff in multi-occupancy offices are to be provided with the means and opportunity to work from home where possible. Split shifts should be considered.

(3) Offices, tea rooms and other communal areas are to be re-arranged to maximise social distancing and minimise the number of staff using the room at any time.

(4) Consideration must be given to creating smaller, more manageable cohorts/teams who train/work together, or travel in vehicles together.

(5) Skype and O365 tools are to be used to conduct virtual meetings rather than face to face.

(6) If a meeting or a Command brief must be conducted in person, it should be held outside and properly socially distanced, allowing for briefing space capacity, with strict hygiene protocols in place.

(7) No non-essential travel is to be conducted between stations or between the ESBA and WSBA. Any essential travel requires a ‘confirmation 2 Station Commanders have the authority to adjust these timing to meet the requirement to provide fitness facilities for those who are working shift patterns in support of operational activity. for employee movement certificate’. In addition, all persons must hold a negative molecular test (PCR), valid for the last 7 days, from 18 1700L Nov 20 if travelling to, from or between the districts of Limassol and Paphos. Commanders must prioritise their operationally essential tasks and minimise any requirement to travel between districts. PCR Application

(8) Conferences, assemblies and/or events in indoor conference halls are permitted, with the maximum number of participants set at 250, given each person is allocated 3m2 , regardless of the size of the indoor space. Food and beverages cannot be distributed during the events, and breaks are not permitted. Conferences, trade and art exhibitions, assemblies and events are prohibited. This does not apply to O Gps or Command Briefings.

b. Wearing of Masks. Indoor and outdoor rules remain extant. Masks are to be worn indoors and outdoors in all places except places of residence, except when conducting physical exercise or for operational necessity reasons. A face mask must cover both the mouth and nose. A clear plastic visor/shield is an additional measure that can be worn in addition to a face mask but not instead of.

c. Sports and physical training: (1) All Station and Unit organised physical training is to be conducted outdoors (masks are not required whilst exercising indoors or outdoors). (2) Gymnasiums within military camps can remain open for personal training. They must remain within the recommended upper limit occupancy for the size of the premises. Only equipment that is 2m apart is to be used. Touch points of equipment MUST be cleaned after use. Extra signage regarding social distancing and hygiene protocols MUST be in place around the free weights area. Gymnasium staff are to make local arrangements with Sodexo for gymnasiums to be closed for one hour each day for cleaning. New membership of gymnasiums is not permitted, less for military personnel or those with dependent status. WSBA Gyms will be closed to all  as required for Sodexo cleaning purposes.

(3) BFC /SBAA organised sporting competitions and events are to be suspended until further notice. This includes all competitive sports matches, competitive events and charity rides/runs/walks etc.

(4) Organised training by clubs and societies conducted outdoors are permitted to continue in accordance with extant health protocols in the ESBA only. WSBA training by clubs and societies is to cease.

(5) Swimming pools can remain open in accordance with guidelines contained in Ref H. Swimming pools in the WSBA are to close. d. BFC Community social behaviour and additional recreation measures:

(1) All Mess organised social events and dinners are suspended until further notice. This will be reviewed 01 Dec 20.

(2) Maximum of 6 people to a table in all restaurants (includes across the RoC where they are permitted to open) and all Messes. The maximum number of persons that can be served at restaurants and all Messes is set at 75 persons indoors and 150 persons outdoors. The operation of restaurants in the WSBA is suspended; takeaway and home delivery services may continue up to 2230hrs. Messes and JRDs will remain open for living-in and duty personnel.

(3) Across the WSBA, all school group activities for children under the age of 18 are suspended. This includes all group sports, social and recreational activities, youth clubs and sports clubs (e.g. football, dance, swimming, martial arts, theatre, choir, etc.). Individual coaching between one person and another is permitted, for instance tennis coaching. Individual coaching is suspended.

(4) ESBA Mess and Station/Unit bars, clubs and food outlets can remain open but must close at 2230hrs, the extant rules for gathering in such places are to be rigorously enforced. Delivery services can be provided after 2230hrs. WSBA specific measures are outlined in para 12.

(5) ESBA theatres and cinemas are to continue to operate at maximum 50% capacity and continue to adhere to social separation rules.

(6) BFC families are to ‘bubble’ with no more than one other household; people outside that additional household should not enter their home or garden. Gatherings at public spaces (ESBA only) are permitted and can feature a maximum of 10 persons per house/group, including minors. All personnel are encouraged to limit their social circle to mitigate against the need for extensive contact tracing impacts should a positive case be identified.

(7) BFC beaches remain ‘in bounds’ so long as group size restrictions, family bubbles and correct hygiene/social distancing protocols are adhered to.

(8) BFC Children’s play areas indoors and outdoors are to close (WSBA only). Events such as parties that will feature over 10 people are prohibited. The operation of playgrounds, theme parks and luna parks is suspended.

(9) Overnight stays for any reasons in a residence other than your own are not permitted.

(10) Movement (including walking) after 2300hrs (ESBA), 2000hrs (WSBA) and before 0500hrs is prohibited, less for operational reasons or emergency medical reasons only.

(11) All personnel are strongly encouraged to minimise their travel into the RoC to essential activity only, i.e. shopping for food, pharmacies, vets etc. There is to be no non-essential travel between districts.

(12) In the ESBA ecclesiastical and other forms of religious worship in churches, mosques and other religious sites, as well as ceremonies such as weddings or christening, can be attended by a maximum of 75 people, in accordance with the protocols applicable to places of religious worship.

(13) The operation of campsites is suspended. No camping allowed. 12. BFC ‘Circuit Breaker’ Measures – WSBA (Paphos and Limassol Districts) only. Within the BFC community (AKR, EPI, TRD) the following measures should be adhered to until further notice.

a. Movement time restrictions. It is forbidden between the hours of 2000hrs and 0500hrs, except for emergency medical reasons (from / to pharmacy, hospital) or for work purposes. Movement during these times must be done whilst in possession of a ‘confirmation for employee movement certificate’. 

b. Movement between districts. Movement of persons to and from the Provinces of Limassol and Paphos is prohibited, as well as between the two Provinces. Exceptions include: movement for essential operational purposes to maintain military operational; workers in essential services ; movement for a medical incident (upon presentation of a medical certificate and to include blue light emergency responder movement); movement for the transfer of persons to and from Airports and Paphos and the Port of Limassol; and movement to and from RAF Akrotiri airhead.

c. Public spaces. Gatherings in public places (parks, squares, dams, picnic areas, beaches, sidewalks and marinas, etc.) are prohibited, except for sports purposes, provided that they do not exceed two people, excluding the minor children of parents who play sports.

d. Private homes/SFA. Gatherings at homes are permitted and can feature a maximum of 10 persons per house/group, including minors. All personnel are encouraged to limit their social circle to mitigate against the need for extensive contact tracing impacts should a positive case be identified.

e. Religious worship. Church worship and other forms of religious worship in religious places are permitted to be performed without a congregation.

f. Religious ceremonies. Ceremonies (weddings, baptisms, funerals etc) are permitted with a maximum number of 10 persons allowed to attend. g. MoD Schools Cyprus. The ‘upper stage’ of education at St Johns School will move to remote learning from 16-30 Nov. This affects Key Stage 5 pupils, encompassing years 12&13. No change for all other schools and Early Years Settings. MoD Schools Cyprus have informed HQ DCYP and all UK stakeholders. Training and sports events for persons under 18 years of age are suspended. h. Military education. Mandatory military education across BFC will move to remote delivery until 30 Nov.

3 An employee is delivering essential services if they are directly involved in work that is required for the delivery of military or operational outputs to BFC or the delivery of critical outputs of the SBAA.

i. BFC Libraries. Libraries in the WSBA are to close until 30 Nov. No change for the libraries in the ESBA.

j. Public services. Public services provided by the SBAA (area offices, fiscal offices etc) will operate for urgent emergency matters only. Employees who are not employed in essential services will work remotely.

k. Hospital Visits. Visits to patients or to accompany patients to public and private hospitals, clinics, medical and diagnostic centres is prohibited. Minors can still be accompanied.

l. Restaurants. All public and commercial restaurants within the bases (including behind the wire) will close for dine in services (takeaway and delivery is permitted). After 2000hrs only home delivery service is allowed. Dining areas inside hotels and tourist accommodation can be open until 2230hrs only for the service of persons who spend the night in their premises. Dining areas within Paphos Airport are exempt from the ban.

m. Military In Barracks Dining Facilities. Provision of a dining service in our Messes/JRDs, less bar facilities, is to continue. Use of these facilities is to be restricted to living-in personnel and those on operationally essential duties only - they are not to be used by dependents or non-essential staff. Maximum of 6 people to a table and extant social distancing and hygiene measures are to be rigorously enforced. Bar facilities in Messes are to close and move to cellar services only.

n. Outdoor Theatres. The operation of outdoor and indoor theatres, amphitheatres, cinemas and theatres is suspended.

o. Transport. All public transport vehicles are to operate at 50% capacity. Military transport and Agility contracted vehicles (school coaches) can (as private vehicles) continue to operate unhindered.  p. Commercial businesses. The operation of the following businesses is suspended:

(1) Beauty salons and tattoo parlours.

(2) Hairdressers and barber shops.

(3) Driving Schools.

(4) Casinos, gambling and betting companies. q. Limassol Port. Limassol Port will operate only for commercial transactions and activities. Operational activity should be permitted to continue.

13. HoE Responsibilities. COs/HoEs can continue to impose additional measures beyond those outlined in this FragO in order to assure their operational outputs and to suit their own environments/circumstances. Additional measures are to be agreed with HQ BFC before they are applied. Similarly, COs/HoEs can request a waiver to a restriction for a specific event of purpose.

14. Official visits to BFC. While circuit breaker restrictions are in place all non-operationally essential visits and external training exercises to BFC are to be cancelled. Requests for waivers to this policy should be staffed to ACOS Ops via BFC J3.

15. Social ‘Bubbles’. The rules on social bubbles have been removed. a. Domestic Assistants. Restrictions on the use of domestic assistants have been removed. Normal COVID-19 rules apply. b. SFA/Home Businesses. Home businesses are permitted to operate in the ESBA only. Home businesses that fall within the suspended business list at Para 12(p) are not permitted in the WSBA. Station Commanders are to ensure SFA home businesses are properly regulated and inspected by SHE advisors to ensure compliance with COVID-19 regulations.

Individual Hygiene. No change. Stations and Unit Commanding Officers are to reiterate the importance of proper hygiene and social distancing.

19. Facemasks. Ref I will remain extant with additional measures outlined in Para 11(B) of this FRAGO.

20. Military Training. BFC guidance to military training activity remains extant, as per Ref I. Essential training, defined as activity required to maintain operational and readiness requirements, is permitted within guidelines. 

 

 

*****Update 09 Nov 20******

This FRAGO follows a tightening of restrictions introduced by the RoC Government on 05 Nov 20.

It rescinds the additional ‘circuit breaker’ measures introduced by HQ BFC in response to good behaviour and practices exhibited by the BFC Community. SBA and RoC measures currently in place are in response to the significant increase in positive cases across the island and within the SBAs. Our measures, like the RoC’s, are time-bounded, and will be continuously reviewed. Social distancing, good hygiene and discipline remain the most effective method of combating the spread of the virus.

Situation

Overview. The RoC epidemiology country assessment released on 6 Nov 20 announced that the UK is to remain a Category B country for travel to Cyprus. While Cyprus has been removed from the UK travel corridor, the SBAs remain within it; with effect from 1 Nov 20, those flying on the Trooper to the UK are required to have remained within the SBAs for 14 days prior to the flight. COVID-19 continues to pose a risk to the BFC community and a severe risk to operational capability. Following a recent and significant uptick in confirmed cases within the BFC community, there is a requirement to continue a reinforce BFC good behaviours and practices with restrictive measures in order to assist in preventing the spread of the virus. This ‘circuit breaker’, including the most recently announced RoC restrictions, will be in place until further notice, and provides robust precautionary measures to preserve execution of our operational outputs. The measures are expected to be in place until at least the 15 Jan 21 and will remain under regular review to ensure the SBAs remain in step with the RoC while continuing to deliver mission essential operational effect. Additional measures introduced for Limassol District (which includes the WSBA) are expected to be reviewed by the RoC on 16 Nov 20.

Intent.

The SBAA and BFC will introduce robust control measures to PROTECT our communities and PREVENT the spread of COVID-19. These measures are conditions-based, reversible and will be enforced through the military chain of Command. We will maintain our critical outputs while amending our routine activities within the constraints of any self-imposed enduring controls. Compliance and a high degree of self-discipline will need to be maintained and enforced by the CoC. We all bear a major responsibility to ensure our personal hygiene, social behaviour and that of our families is fully compliant with the medical direction and SBAA law. Strict adherence to good personal hygiene and COVID-19 discipline now will help ensure we are best set to enjoy a safe Christmas period together with our friends and families.

Scheme of Manoeuvre.

SBAA and HQ BFC will relax some ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions but replicate RoC measures to PROTECT critical mission outputs and CONTAIN the risk of an outbreak, while REASSURING the population and the RoC. The introduction of these measures is designed to reduce the risk of transmission. The more targeted small changes we can make to our daily lives (some of them short term, some of them long term), the more we reduce the risk of community transmission. Stn Cdrs/COs are empowered Duty Holders for their people and can continue to impose additional measures to preserve operational outputs.

Missions and Tasks.

The requirement to provide SUPPORT to BFC/SBAA emergency services and critical operational capabilities through reinforcement, to ensure emergency services are SUSTAINED and the SBA community are REASSURED throughout the pandemic response.

Timings.

The ‘circuit breaker’ continuation measures will take effect from 0001hrs on 09 Nov 20 and will remain in place until the epidemiological situation in the RoC and SBAs allows for relaxation of restrictions to be reintroduced. Within the BFC community the following measures should be adhered to until further notice.

a. Workplace practices:

(1) Staff are to be encouraged to work from home where possible and practicable.

(2) Staff in multi-occupancy offices are to be provided with the means and opportunity to work from home where possible. Split shifts should be considered.

(3) Offices, tea rooms and other communal areas are to be re-arranged to maximise social distancing and minimise the number of staff using the room at any time.

(4) Consideration must be given to creating smaller, more manageable cohorts/teams who train/work together, or travel in vehicles together.

(5) Skype and O365 tools are to be used to conduct virtual meetings rather than face to face.

(6) If a meeting must be conducted in person, it should be held outside and properly socially distanced with strict hygiene protocols in place.

(7) No non-essential travel is to be conducted between stations or between the ESBA and WSBA.

(8) Conferences, assemblies and/or events in indoor conference halls are permitted, with the maximum number of participants set at 250, given person is allocated 3m2 , regardless of the size of the indoor space. Food and beverages cannot be distributed during the events, and breaks are not permitted.

Wearing of Masks. Indoor and outdoor rules remain extant. Masks are to be worn indoors and outdoors in all public places, except when conducting physical exercise or for operational necessity reasons. A face mask must cover both the mouth and nose. A clear plastic visor/shield is an additional measure that can be worn in addition to a face mask but not instead of. c. Sports and physical training:

(1) All Station and Unit organised physical training is to be conducted outdoors (masks are not required whilst exercising indoors or outdoors).

(2) Gymnasiums within military camps can remain open for personal training. They must remain within the recommended upper limit occupancy for the size of the premises. Only equipment that is 2m apart is to be used. Touch points of equipment MUST be cleaned after use. Extra signage regarding social distancing and hygiene protocols MUST be in place around the free weights area. Gymnasium staff are to make local arrangements with Sodexo for gymnasiums to be closed for one hour each day for cleaning. New membership of gymnasiums is not permitted, less for military personnel or those with dependent status.

(3) BFC /SBAA organised sporting competitions and events are to be suspended until further notice. This includes all competitive sports matches, competitive events and charity rides/runs/walks etc.

(4) Organised training by clubs and societies conducted outdoors are permitted to continue in accordance with extant health protocols.

(5) Swimming pools can remain open in accordance with guidelines.

BFC Community social behaviour and additional recreation measures:

(1) All Mess organised social events and dinners are suspended until further notice. This will be reviewed not before 01 Dec 20.

(2) Maximum of 6 people to a table in all restaurants (includes across the RoC) and all Messes. The maximum number of persons that can be served at restaurants (includes across the RoC) and all Messes is set at 75 persons indoors and 150 persons outdoors.

(3) Across the WSBA, all after-school group activities for children under the age of 18 are suspended. This includes all group sports, social and recreational activities, youth clubs and sports clubs (e.g. football, dance, swimming, martial arts, theatre, choir, etc.). Individual coaching between one person and another is permitted, for instance tennis coaching.

(4) Mess and Station/Unit bars, clubs and food outlets can remain open but must close at 2230hrs, the extant rules for gathering in such places are to be rigorously enforced. Delivery services can be provided after 2230hrs.

(5) Theatres and cinemas are to continue to operate at maximum 50% capacity and continue to adhere to social separation rules.

(6) Gatherings at homes or public spaces are permitted and can feature a maximum of 10 persons per house/group, including minors. All personnel are encouraged to limit their social circle to mitigate against the need for extensive contact tracing impacts should a positive case be identified.

(7) BFC beaches remain ‘in bounds’ so long as group size restrictions, family bubbles and correct hygiene/social distancing protocols are adhered to.

(8) BFC Children’s play areas indoors and outdoors are to close (WSBA only). Events such as parties that will feature over 10 people are prohibited.

(9) Overnight stays for any reasons in a residence other than your own are not permitted.

(10) Rescinded.

(11) Rescinded.

(12) Movement (including walking) after 2300hrs and before 0500hrs is prohibited, less for operational reasons or emergency medical reasons only. 

(13) All personnel remain strongly encouraged to minimise their travel into the RoC to essential activity only, i.e. shopping for food, pharmacies, vets etc.

(14) Ecclesiastical and other forms of religious worship in churches, mosques and other religious sites, as well as religious ceremonies, can be attended by a maximum of 75 people, in accordance with the protocols applicable to places of religious worship.

(15) Those flying to the UK on the Trooper are required to have remained within the SBAs for 14 days prior to the flight.

HoE Responsibilities. COs/HoEs can continue to impose additional measures beyond those outlined in this FragO in order to assure their operational outputs and to suit their own particular environments/circumstances. Additional measures are to be agreed with HQ BFC before they are applied. Similarly, COs/HoEs can request a waiver to a restriction for a specific event of purpose.

Official visits to BFC. While circuit breaker restrictions are in place all non-operationally essential visits and external training exercises to BFC are to be cancelled. Requests for waivers to this policy should be staffed to ACOS Ops via BFC J3.

Social ‘Bubbles’. The rules on social bubbles have been removed.

Domestic Assistants. Restrictions on the use of domestic assistants have been removed. Normal COVID-19 rules apply. 

SFA/Home Businesses. Home businesses are permitted to operate. Station Commanders are to ensure SFA home businesses are properly regulated and inspected by SHE advisors to ensure compliance with COVID19 regulations.

Individual Hygiene. No change. Stations and Unit Commanding Officers are to reiterate the importance of proper hygiene and social distancing.

Military Training. BFC guidance to military training activity remains extant. Essential training, defined as activity required to maintain operational and readiness requirements, is permitted within guidelines. External units applying to train in BFC will be subject to ACOS Ops approval and based on operational requirements.

 

                                                                    *****Update 23 Oct 20******

 

This FRAGO activates robust precautionary control measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the SBAs, while allowing critical outputs to continue. This FRAGO also incorporates the recent RoC announced measures that come into effect from 23 Oct 20. The FRAGO goes beyond the new RoC measures currently in place and are in response to the significant increase in positive cases across the island and within the SBAs. Our additional measures, like the RoC’s, are time-bounded, and will be continuously reviewed. Social distancing, good hygiene, and discipline remain the most effective method of combating the spread of the virus. Following a recent uptick in BFC/SBAA confirmed cases a re-set of behaviours is deemed necessary to best protect our population and maintain our operational outputs. Behaviour change across the workforce requires recognition that everyone is susceptible to the COVID19 virus and the impact this can have on themselves and others. Individual responsibility includes the moral courage and integrity to raise the issue to the CoC or the transgressor directly when something isn’t right, in alignment with Values and Standards.

Overview. COVID-19 continues to pose a risk to the BFC community and a severe risk to operational capability. Following a recent and significant uptick in confirmed cases within the BFC community there is a requirement to reinforce a re-set of BFC behaviours and practices with restrictive measures to assist in preventing the spread of the virus. This ‘circuit breaker’, including the latest announced RoC restrictions, will be in place until the 09 Nov 20 and provides robust precautionary measures to preserve execution of our operational outputs. A review will be conducted on 09 Nov 20.

Intent. The SBAA and BFC will introduce robust control measures to PROTECT our communities and PREVENT the spread of COVID-19. These measures are conditions-based, reversible and will be enforced through the military chain of Command. We will maintain our critical outputs while amending our routine activities within the constraints of any self-imposed enduring controls. Compliance and a high degree of self-discipline will need to be maintained and enforced by the CoC. We all bear a major responsibility to ensure our personal hygiene, social behaviour and that of our families is fully compliant with the medical direction and SBAA law. Strict adherence to good personal hygiene and COVID-19 discipline now will help ensure we are best set to enjoy a safe Christmas period together with our friends and families.

Scheme of Manoeuvre. SBAA and HQ BFC will introduce ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions to designed to reduce the risk of transmission. The more targeted small changes we can make to our daily lives (some of them short term, some of them long term), the more we reduce the risk of community transmission. Stn Cdrs/COs are empowered Duty Holders for their people and can introduce additional measures to preserve operational outputs.

BFC ‘Circuit Breaker’ Measures. Within the BFC community the following measures should be adhered to until further notice.

a. Workplace practices:

(1) Staff are to be encouraged to work from home where possible and practicable.

(2) Staff in multi-occupancy offices are to be provided with the means and opportunity to work from home where possible. Split shifts should be considered.

(3) Offices, tea rooms and other communal areas are to be re-arranged to maximise social distancing and minimise the number of staff using the room at any time.

(4) Consideration must be given to creating smaller, more manageable cohorts/teams who train/work together, or travel in vehicles together.

(5) Skype and O365 tools are to be used to conduct virtual meetings rather than face to face.

(6) If a meeting must be conducted in person, it should be held outside and properly socially distanced with strict hygiene protocols in place.

(7) No non-essential travel is to be conducted between stations or between the ESBA and WSBA.

Wearing of Masks. Indoor rules remain extant. In addition, Masks are to be worn outdoors in all public places, except conducting physical exercise or for operational necessity reasons. No masks are to be worn outside when airside due to the FOD risk. If personnel are removing their mask as they go airside, they are to ensure their mask is secured.

Sports and physical training:

(1) All Station and Unit organised physical training is to be conducted outdoors (masks are not required whilst exercising indoors or outdoors).

(2) Gymnasiums can remain open for personal training, in groups of no more than 10 and within the recommended upper limit occupancy for the size of the premises. Only equipment that is 2m apart is to be used. Touch points of equipment MUST be cleaned after use.

(3) BFC /SBAA organised sporting competitions and events are to be suspended until further notice. This includes all competitive sports matches, competitive events and charity rides/runs/walks etc.

(4) Organised training by clubs and societies conducted outdoors are permitted to continue in accordance with extant health protocols.

(5) Swimming pools can remain open in accordance with guidelines.

d. BFC Community social behaviour measures:

(1) All Mess organised social events and dinners are suspended until further notice.

(2) Maximum of 6 people to a table in all restaurants (includes across the RoC) and all Messes.

(3) Across the WSBA, all after-school activities for children under the age of 18 are suspended. This includes all recreational activities, youth clubs and sports clubs.

(4) Moms Bar, The Rugby Club and all section bars are to be closed until 9 Nov 20. Only the Officers’ Mess, WO and Sgts’ Mess Bars and Waterhole will stay open. Extra regulations are being put in place to ensure contact tracing can be completed. Masks are to be worn in all areas unless seated at a table. Where possible table service will be implemented. 

(5) Theatres and cinemas are to operate at maximum 50% capacity and continue to adhere to social separation rules.

(6) BFC families are to ‘bubble’ with no more than one other household; people outside that additional household should not enter their home or garden. 

(7) BFC beaches remain ‘in bounds’ so long as group size restrictions, family bubbles and correct hygiene/social distancing protocols are adhered to.

(8) Overnight stays for any reasons in a residence other than you own are not permitted.

(9) Halloween ‘trick or treating’ may continue at DDH discretion with HoE giving D&G iaw ROC regulations. Households may display pumpkins and leave treats at the gate/door for children to collect, there is to be no interaction on doorsteps.

(10) A decision on the conduct of Remembrance Day activities will be promulgated on 02 Nov 20

Social ‘Bubbles’. Transmission of COVID-19 has been happening within the homes of our community. Social ‘bubbles’ are research-proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as they limit the number of people who can have meaningfully interaction. A ‘bubble’ is an exclusive social network in which members can have social contact with each other but not with anyone else. Two families can be considered a social bubble, or a single corridor within SLA. Keeping your social bubble to 10 or fewer can help reduce exposure to COVID-19. Where there is more than 10 in two families, the two families is considered an acceptable bubble.

Individual Hygiene. No change. Stations and Unit Commanding Officers are to reiterate the importance of proper hygiene and social distancing.

Military Training. BFC guidance to military training activity remains extant. Essential training, defined as activity required to maintain operational and readiness requirements, is permitted within guidelines. External units applying to train in BFC will be subject to ACOS Ops approval and based on operational requirements.

 

*****Update 16 Oct 20******

 

Due to rapid changes in the RoC this information will be subject to further change. The increased use of face coverings, as reported in the RoC press on the 14th Oct, will soon be reflected in orders published here. For now this is the most up to date guidance to reflect the rule of 10 published by the RoC earlier this week. 

 

Additional SBA Measures. Within the SBAs the following restrictions should override all other direction within the FragO where applicable until further notice:

a. Gatherings at residences/public and private spaces/other spaces are limited to 10 persons. (Dining premises, receptions, conference halls, indoor/outdoor theatres and other spaces as determined by MoH are exempt).

b. Maximum of 75 persons in restaurants indoors and 150 outdoors.

c. Maximum of 75 people at ceremonies such as weddings, christening, funerals.

d. Max numbers present at dining premises etc to be determined by guidelines issued by the MoH e. Reservations at dining premises limited to 10 per table.

f. Religious worship/ceremonies limited to 75 people

g. Sports matches are permitted without spectators, and subject to the relevant H&S guidelines. 

h. Max numbers at cinemas, theatres etc to be determined by MoH guidelines (to follow).

i. Parties and functions (including Mess Events) with free movement of people are prohibited.

 

Facemask use by the general population.

Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation.

Facemasks in this case are defined as Face Coverings (i.e. a scarf would do) and should be used in the following places:

(1) Supermarkets/bakeries.

(2) Department stores/ retail shops/ malls. This includes the Forces Stores, for example, but not an office environment (unless the office is public facing).

(3) Churches.

(4) Visitors at Hospitals/ clinics/ old people’s homes/ other healthcare establishments. All patients reporting to the Med Centre and Dental Centre facilities are to wear a mask.

(5) Pharmacies.

(6) Services/ departments of the public sector and wider public sector and private businesses accepting/ serving the public (e.g. banks, Citizen Service Centres, Post Offices, EAC, etc.).

(7) Betting Shops.

(8) Lifts.

(9) Libraries.

(10) Airport Terminals.

c. Face coverings are not required in the following instances:

(1) For a ceremony (wedding, christening etc.). d. Facemask use by customer-facing personnel 1 Aug – TFN.

Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation.

It is mandatory for customer facing employees to wear facemasks, as follows:

(1) Means of Public Transport (e.g. MT drivers). 2 Allocated seating and table service only. No public bar services.

(2) Indoor areas of private businesses, departments of the public and wider public sector serving the public, such as Post Officers, Couriers, Cash Desks etc.

(3) Individuals working at customer service in retail, e.g. Cashiers at supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, markets, retail shops.

(4) Customer service in the food-supply chain, e.g. butchers, fish markets, fruit markets, kiosks, mini markets, retail shops (e.g. clothing stores, shoe stores, cosmetics stores, etc.), etc.

(5) Delivery people.

(6) Workers in construction sites/ constructions: Individuals working in constructions must use single-use masks when moving in a car (the number of people in the car must not exceed 2),

(7) When using lifts. e. Previous special measures for Limassol District are now relaxed and the following will apply throughout all areas in the RoC and SBAs wef 25 Aug 20 to 15 Jan 21. Note that these measures are subject to constant review and potential change in response to the RoC legislative announcements.

f. Privately arranged gatherings must not consist of more than 10 people (regardless of age). No person may be present in a place of residence or gather in a group in which more than 10 individuals (including the person in question) are simultaneously present. This includes:

(1) Birthday parties at homes, playgrounds, parks etc.

(2) Beach/pool/ yacht parties.

(3) Private parties at homes.

(4) Reception/cocktail parties at home or other private/public areas.

(5) Dinners/Meals at homes.

(6) Family gatherings at homes. g. For officially organised events, a paragraph detailing measures to be taken during the event specific to protecting people against the spread of COVID 19 should be included in the event instruction, this will be reviewed and signed off by HQ BFC Med Branch.

h. Limiting events to 10 persons may not apply in the following officially organised (i.e not privately organised) circumstances, however, relevant guidelines must be followed.

(1) Cultural events e.g. theatre shows, dances etc. held indoors.

(2) Sports Competitions.

(3) Sporting, Club or Association events.

(4) For an act of worship at a place of religious worship.

(5) At a restaurant or other catering premises where food or drink is supplied for consumption on the premises.

(6) Military training and operations will continue iot maintain capability; but social distancing and hygiene measures in all workplaces must continue to be adhered to. i. Indoor dining may not exceed 75 people (regardless of age):

(1) The person in control of a place of religious worship may permit no more than 75 persons to be simultaneously present on the premises.

(2) Customers must be served exclusively at the table; direct service of customers at bars is forbidden.

(3) The measure for maintaining a distance of 3 square metres for indoor premises per person continues to apply.

j. Outdoor dining may not exceed 150 people (regardless of age):

(1) Regarding dining premises; the maximum number of people who may be served outside dining premises is fixed at 150 persons.

(2) The requirement to maintaining a distance of 2 square metres for outdoor premises per person continues to apply. k. Catering areas. The maximum number of persons in indoor catering areas is up to 75 people calculated on a maximum of one person per 3 square meters. For outdoor areas the limit is 150 calculated on a maximum of 1 person per 2 square meters. In all instances, customers must be served exclusively at the table; the direct service of customers at the bar is forbidden. 

l. Event Approvals. Covid measures for events should be reviewed in the first instance by Stn Health and Safety representatives who, if content, can give approvals to the HoE for the event to take place. If this process cannot agree on event measures, it may be escalated to Cdr Med for remediation.

m. Other Events.

(1) Conferences and General Meetings. Conferences, general meetings or similar assemblies are allowed, provided the event organisers apply the appropriate protocols in force required for the venue. This should include consideration of the maximum number of participants and distancing among the delegates, etc. If refreshments are offered, the maximum number of persons, that is 10 each time, should be observed.

(2) Fairs, Festivals and Exhibitions. These events in places such as stadiums, churchyards etc. are currently banned. Concerts and theatrical performances are only permitted if spectators are seated and the relevant Protocol is strictly adhered to for distancing, the maximum number of persons, ticket selling, etc.

n. Enforcement. On the spot fines for non-compliance are up to €300, but repeated or serious breaches may attract up to 6-months imprisonment, and/or €3,000. This is now in place throughout the RoC and SBAs (both WSBA and ESBA).

13. Timings. New Facemask measures are pan-island and are imposed until further notice; NB all timings could be extended or shortened depending on new developments. Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation.

Transport Guidance. Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation.

a. Travel within the SBAs including within Stns or through the RoC in MOD-owned transport: all passengers and drivers must wear a facemask or face coverings, when travelling in buses, minibuses and split cabs.

b. Travel in any contracted transport: passengers are to wear a facemask or face covering for the duration of any journey, this includes children traveling to school.

c. Personnel are to wear face coverings when travelling as a passenger on Military Air Transport operated by Defence from 15 Jun 20. Face coverings should be worn unless there are strong operational reasons not to do so which must be authorised at 2* level. Children under the age of 3 should not wear face coverings, children between the ages of 3 and 11 can wear face coverings, but they are not required to.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1 From what age are individuals required to wear masks? RoC and SBA legislation requires children over 6 years old to wear face coverings inside. On RAF Aircraft: Pax aged 12 years or older are mandated to wear face covering on ac iaw DAN-19 and children aged 4-11 can wear face coverings but are not required to. Children under 3 do not need to wear facemasks In RAF AKT Air Terminal: All passengers aged 12 yrs or older are to wear face coverings when in the Air Terminal.

2 Are masks required to be worn in local business on the camps/stations? (i.e. Forces Store, Coffee Pot, CESSAC etc) Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation. a. Facemask use by the general population. Facemasks in this case are defined as Face Coverings (i.e. a scarf would do). Facemasks are to be worn (persons 6yrs old and over) in closed buildings, as follows:

(a) Supermarkets/bakeries.

(b) Department stores/ retail shops/ malls. This includes the Forces Stores, for example, but not an office environment (unless the office is public facing).

(c) Churches.

(d) Visitors at Hospitals/ clinics/ old people’s homes/ other healthcare establishments. All patients reporting to the Med Centre and Dental Centre facilities are to wear a mask.

(e) Pharmacies.

(f) Services/ departments of the public sector and wider public sector and private businesses accepting/ serving the public (e.g. banks, Citizen Service Centres, Post Offices, EAC, etc.).

(g) Betting Shops.

(h) Lifts.

(i) Libraries.

(j) Airport Terminals. NB. Customers do NOT need to wear a mask inside or outside cafés or restaurants, or messes. b. Facemask use by customer-facing personnel. It is mandatory for customer facing employees to wear facemasks, as follows:

(1) Means of Public Transport (e.g. MT drivers).

(2) Indoor areas of private businesses, departments of the public and wider public sector serving the public, such as Post Officers, Couriers, Cash Desks etc.

(3) Individuals working at customer service in retail, e.g. Cashiers at supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, markets, retail shops.

(4) Customer service in the food-supply chain, e.g. café’s, restaurants, messes, butchers, fish markets, fruit markets, kiosks, mini markets, retail shops (e.g. clothing stores, shoe stores, cosmetics stores, etc.), etc.

(5) Delivery people.

(6) Workers in construction sites/ constructions: Individuals working in constructions must use singleuse masks when moving in a car (the number of people in the car must not exceed 2),

(7) When using lifts.

3 Does the wearing of masks apply to businesses run from home? Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation. A mask is not required in a business run from home unless the business meets one of the definitions in the list in the RoC guidance.

4 Does it have to be a face mask, or can it be any covering? Any face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are sufficient (i.e bandanas, homemade masks, scarves etc).

5 Do Childminders, DAs, private tutors need to wear masks in private homes? Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation. The latest mask decree does not list childminders or DAs specifically, though states, “Any other business or establishment, where the use of a mask is foreseen according to the relevant protocols of the Ministry of Health” a legal determination on business is required. – More to follow.

6 Can the SBA Police fine people 300 euros for breach of the controls? Yes. The SBA Police have had power to enforce the new measures from 13 Aug. On the spot fines for noncompliance are up to €300, but repeated or serious breaches may attract up to 6-months imprisonment, and/or €3,000.

7 Do people need to wear masks in the Messes? Update to follow pending publication of RoC legislation. People sitting inside or outside messes don’t have to wear masks; Table service only; do not ask to be served at the bar.

8 At what age do children require a Covid19 Test in order to fly to Cyprus? 12 years old and over.

9.Nil

10 Are children included in the 10? Yes.

11 What about military activity; can we still conduct physical trg within our units using the gym/MUGA? Can we still conduct training exercises? Yes. Military activity will remain.

12 If I run an activity in a Church, other than worship (e.g. a singing rehearsal), Yes. 10 persons max.

13 Can we continue to run swimming lessons? Swimming lessons can continue. Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person. 

14 Can we still have Pool Parties in the Stn Swimming Pools? Private Pool Parties continue however, personnel are to be in groups of no more than 10; and in line with maximum numbers allowed: Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person No interaction between the groups. Where inflatables are present pool managers are to ensure social distancing rules are applied.

15 How many people in total can we have in the Swimming Pools? Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person People should be in groups of no more than 10. No interaction between the groups.

16 How many people can I have in my house, indoors or outdoors No more than 10, total, including children.

17 How many people are allowed in a cinema? Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person People should be grouped into gatherings of no more than 10. No interaction between the gatherings of 10.

18 How does this affect Youth Activities? Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person People should be grouped into gatherings of no more than 10.

19 How does this affect Working Meetings? Working meetings can be more than 10, but with strict adherence to Social Distancing.

20.  Nil

21 What do I do if I am unsure of policy regarding swimming pools, clubs, businesses etc? You are advised to contact them direct prior to arrival to get more details on implementation group numbers, any limitations and social distancing measures.

22 Can I hold an official sport event? Yes, with social separation and in groups of no more than 10 that do not mix, no mass congregating for prize giving or catering. No spectators.

23 Can I engage in contact martial arts sports training? No, only non-contact training for martial arts can take place – no fighting or sparring.

24 How many spectators can I have at an event? Spectators not permitted at sporting events.

25 Can I hold a conference indoors? Yes, social separation rules apply.

26 Can I hold a conference outdoors? Yes, social separation rules apply.

27 Can I hold an official Stn Bonfire Night event? No.

28 Can the Mess hold an official function? Yes, subject to the following rules: - no more than 75 persons if the function is indoors, 150 if it is exclusively outdoors. No more than 1 person per 3 square metres indoors and 1 person per 2 square metres outdoors. - Except as far as dining is concerned, groups of no more than 10 persons. 

29 Can I have an Octoberfest? If at a Mess or other dining premises: yes, subject to the rules above on “official mess functions”. Otherwise: yes, but groups of no more than 10 persons. 

30 Can I hold a Mess Christmas/New Year function? If at a Mess or other dining premises: yes, subject to the rules above on “official mess functions”. Otherwise: yes, but groups of no more than 10 persons.

31 Can I hold a theatre performance? Yes, both indoors and outdoors, but subject to social distancing guidelines and rules about maximum number, which depend on the venue’s capacity. Please seek advice of HQ BFC Med Branch.

32 Can I hold a Remembrance Day event? Yes, but attendees should be in groups of no more than 10 and overall numbers determined by the size of the venue (indoor or outdoor).

33 When are the restrictions likely to change again? The current laws are in force until further notice, but they may change before that time if circumstances change or to take into account progress in our knowledge. The guidelines to which the laws refer are also constantly updated. It is therefore difficult to predict for how long the current restrictions will last, but the BFC community will be kept informed.

34 Can I apply for an exemption/waiver for an official or private event? Exemptions can be granted for a very limited number of circumstances (subject to relatively complex RoC Guidelines). Please seek advice from HQ BFC Med Branch. CBF will hold the final approval for exemptions/waivers.

35 How does this effect military activity? Military training and operations will continue iot maintain capability; but social distancing and hygiene measures in all workplaces must continue to be adhered to.

36 How does this effect AKT Arrivals Lounge? Passengers must be kept in separate groups of 50 persons maximum. There are other hygiene and social distancing protocols to comply with. Under review – further detail to follow.

37 Can the Messes run Family ‘Friday’ events? No, but families can still use the Mess facilities under the following restrictions: Groupings of 10 up to the permitted indoor (75) and outdoor (150) totals will be permitted, but there should be no interaction between the groups.

38 What do I do if I have a question that is not covered here? Please seek advice through your chain of command.

39 Can schools still run Physical Education lessons? MoD schools can continue with structured Physical Education sessions as part of the curriculum but should only conduct non-contact activities which maintain social distancing.

 

*****Update 04 Sep 20******

a. Facemask use by the general population.

b. Facemasks in this case are defined as Face Coverings (i.e. a scarf would do) and should be used in the following places: (1) Supermarkets/bakeries. (2) Department stores/ retail shops/ malls. This includes the Forces Stores, for example, but not an office environment (unless the office is public facing). (3) Churches. (4) Visitors at Hospitals/ clinics/ old people’s homes/ other healthcare establishments.

All patients reporting to the Med Centre and Dental Centre facilities are to wear a mask. (5) Pharmacies. (6) Services/ departments of the public sector and wider public sector and private businesses accepting/ serving the public (e.g. banks, Citizen Service Centres, Post Offices, EAC, etc.). (7) Betting Shops. (8) Lifts. (9) Libraries. (10) Airport Terminals.

c. Face coverings are not required in the following instances: (1) For a ceremony (wedding, christening etc.).

d. Facemask use by customer-facing personnel 1 Aug – TFN. It is mandatory for customer facing employees to wear facemasks, as follows: (1) Means of Public Transport (e.g. MT drivers). (2) Indoor areas of private businesses, departments of the public and wider public sector serving the public, such as Post Officers, Couriers, Cash Desks etc. (3) Individuals working at customer service in retail, e.g. Cashiers at supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, markets, retail shops. (4) Customer service in the food-supply chain, e.g. butchers, fish markets, fruit markets, kiosks, mini markets, retail shops (e.g. clothing stores, shoe stores, cosmetics stores, etc.), etc. (5) Delivery people. (6) Workers in construction sites/ constructions: Individuals working in constructions must use single-use masks when moving in a car (the number of people in the car must not exceed 2), (7) When using lifts.

e. Previous special measures for Limassol District are now relaxed and the following will apply throughout all areas in the RoC and SBAs wef 25 Aug 20 to 15 Jan 21. Note that these measures are subject to constant review and potential change in response to the RoC legislative announcements.

f. Privately arranged gatherings must not consist of more than 50 people (regardless of age). No person may be present in a place of residence or gather in a group in which more than 50 individuals (including the person in question) are simultaneously present. This includes: (1) Birthday parties at homes, playgrounds, parks etc. (2) Beach/pool/ yacht parties. (3) Private parties at homes. (4) Reception/cocktail parties at home or other private/public areas. (5) Dinners/Meals at homes. (6) Family gatherings at homes.

g. For officially organised events, a paragraph detailing measures to be taken during the event specific to protecting people against the spread of COVID 19 should be included in the event instruction, this will be reviewed and signed off by HQ BFC Med Branch.

h. Limiting events to 50 persons may not apply in the following officially organised (i.e not privately organised) circumstances, however, relevant guidelines must be followed. (1) Cultural events e.g. theatre shows, dances etc. held indoors. (2) Sports Competitions. (3) Sporting, Club or Association events. (4) For an act of worship at a place of religious worship. (5) At a restaurant or other catering premises where food or drink is supplied for consumption on the premises. (6) Military training and operations will continue iot maintain capability; but social distancing and hygiene measures in all workplaces must continue to be adhered to.

i. Indoor dining may not exceed 150 people (regardless of age): (1) The person in control of a place of religious worship may permit no more than 150 persons to be simultaneously present on the premises. (2) Customers must be served exclusively at the table; direct service of customers at bars is forbidden. (3) The measure for maintaining a distance of 3 square metres for indoor premises per person continues to apply.

j. Outdoor dining may not exceed 250 people (regardless of age): (1) Regarding dining premises; the maximum number of people who may be served outside dining premises is fixed at 250 persons. (2) The requirement to maintaining a distance of 2 square metres for outdoor premises per person continues to apply.

k. Catering areas. The maximum number of persons in indoor catering areas is up to 150 people calculated on a maximum of one person per 3 square meters. For outdoor areas the limit is 250 calculated on a maximum of 1 person per 2 square meters. In all instances, customers must be served exclusively at the table; the direct service of customers at the bar is forbidden.

l. Other Events. (1) Conferences and General Meetings. Conferences, general meetings or similar assemblies are allowed, provided the event organisers apply the appropriate protocols in force required for the venue. This should include consideration of the maximum number of participants and distancing among the delegates, etc. If refreshments are offered, the maximum number of persons, that is 50 each time, should be observed. (2) Fairs, Festivals and Exhibitions. These events in places such as stadiums, churchyards etc. are currently banned. Concerts and theatrical performances are only permitted if spectators are seated and the relevant Protocol is strictly adhered to for distancing, the maximum number of persons, ticket selling, etc.

m. Enforcement. On the spot fines for non-compliance are up to €300, but repeated or serious breaches may attract up to 6-months imprisonment, and/or €3,000. This is now in place throughout the RoC and SBAs (both WSBA and ESBA). 12. Timings. New Facemask measures are pan-island and are imposed until further notice; NB all timings could be extended or shortened depending on new developments.

Transport Guidance. a. Travel within the SBAs including within Stns or through the RoC in MOD-owned transport: all passengers and drivers must wear a facemask or face coverings, when travelling in buses, minibuses and split cabs. b. Travel in any contracted transport: passengers are to wear a facemask or face covering for the duration of any journey, this includes children traveling to school. c. Personnel are to wear face coverings when travelling as a passenger on Military Air Transport operated by Defence from 15 Jun 20. Face coverings should be worn unless there are strong operational reasons not to do so which must be authorised at 2* level. Children under the age of 3 should not wear face coverings, children between the ages of 3 and 11 can wear face coverings, but they are not required to.

 

FAQ

1 From what age are individuals required to wear masks? RoC and SBA legislation requires children over 6 years old to wear face coverings inside. On RAF Aircraft: Pax aged 12 years or older are mandated to wear face covering on ac iaw DAN-19 and children aged 4-11 can wear face coverings but are not required to. Children under 3 do not need to wear facemasks In RAF AKT Air Terminal: All passengers aged 12 yrs or older are to wear face coverings when in the Air Terminal.

2 Are masks required to be worn in local business on the camps/stations? (i.e. Forces Store, Coffee Pot, CESSAC etc) a. Facemask use by the general population. Facemasks in this case are defined as Face Coverings (i.e. a scarf would do). Facemasks are to be worn (persons 6yrs old and over) in closed buildings, as follows: (a) Supermarkets/bakeries. (b) Department stores/ retail shops/ malls. This includes the Forces Stores, for example, but not an office environment (unless the office is public facing). (c) Churches. (d) Visitors at Hospitals/ clinics/ old people’s homes/ other healthcare establishments. All patients reporting to the Med Centre and Dental Centre facilities are to wear a mask. (e) Pharmacies. (f) Services/ departments of the public sector and wider public sector and private businesses accepting/ serving the public (e.g. banks, Citizen Service Centres, Post Offices, EAC, etc.). (g) Betting Shops. (h) Lifts. (i) Libraries. (j) Airport Terminals. NB. Customers do NOT need to wear a mask inside or outside cafés or restaurants, or messes. b. Facemask use by customer-facing personnel. It is mandatory for customer facing employees to wear facemasks, as follows: (1) Means of Public Transport (e.g. MT drivers). (2) Indoor areas of private businesses, departments of the public and wider public sector serving the public, such as Post Officers, Couriers, Cash Desks etc.  (3) Individuals working at customer service in retail, e.g. Cashiers at supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, markets, retail shops. (4) Customer service in the food-supply chain, e.g. café’s, restaurants, messes, butchers, fish markets, fruit markets, kiosks, mini markets, retail shops (e.g. clothing stores, shoe stores, cosmetics stores, etc.), etc. (5) Delivery people. (6) Workers in construction sites/ constructions: Individuals working in constructions must use singleuse masks when moving in a car (the number of people in the car must not exceed 2), (7) When using lifts.

3 Does the wearing of masks apply to businesses run from home? A mask is not required in a business run from home unless the business meets one of the definitions in the list in the RoC guidance.

4 Does it have to be a face mask, or can it be any covering? Any face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are sufficient (i.e bandanas, homemade masks, scarves etc).

5 Do Childminders, DAs, private tutors need to wear masks in private homes? The latest mask decree does not list childminders or DAs specifically, though states, “Any other business or establishment, where the use of a mask is foreseen according to the relevant protocols of the Ministry of Health” a legal determination on business is required. – More to follow.

6 Can the SBA Police fine people 300 euros for breach of the controls? Yes. The SBA Police have had power to enforce the new measures from 13 Aug. On the spot fines for noncompliance are up to €300, but repeated or serious breaches may attract up to 6-months imprisonment, and/or €3,000.

7 Do people need to wear masks in the Messes? People sitting inside or outside messes don’t have to wear masks; Table service only; do not ask to be served at the bar.

8 At what age do children require a Covid19 Test in order to fly to Cyprus? 12 years old and over.

9 Are children included in the 50? Yes.

10 What about military activity; can we still conduct physical trg within our units using the gym/MUGA? Can we still conduct training exercises? Yes. Military activity will remain.

11 Can I run an activity in a Church, other than worship (e.g. a singing rehearsal), Yes. 50 persons max.

12 Can we continue to run swimming lessons? Swimming lessons can continue. Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person

13 Can we still have Pool Parties in the Stn Swimming Pools? Private Pool Parties continue however, personnel are to be in groups of no more than 50; and in line with maximum numbers allowed: Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person. No interaction between the groups. Where inflatables are present pool managers are to ensure social distancing rules are applied.

14 How many people in total can we have in the Swimming Pools? Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person People should be in groups of no more than 50. No interaction between the groups.

15 How many people can I have in my house, indoors or outdoors? No more than 50, total.

16 How many people are allowed in a cinema? Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person People should be grouped into gatherings of no more than 50. No interaction between the gatherings of 50

17 How does this affect Youth Activities? Maximum numbers allowed on the premises are to remain in line with previous legislation: • 3 square meters of indoor premises per person • 2 square meters of outdoor premises per person People should be grouped into gatherings of no more than 50.

18 How does this affect Working Meetings? Working meetings can be more than 50, but with strict adherence to Social Distancing.

19 What do I do if I am unsure of policy regarding swimming pools, clubs, businesses etc? You are advised to contact them direct prior to arrival to get more details on implementation group numbers, any limitations and social distancing measures.

20 Can I hold an official sport event? Yes, with social separation and in groups of no more than 50 that do not mix, no mass congregating for prize giving or catering.

21 Can I engage in contact martial arts sports training? No, only non-contact training for martial arts can take place – no fighting or sparring.

22 How many spectators can I have at an event? Limited by the venue size and social separation requirements and not in groups of more than 50.

23 Can I hold a conference indoors? Yes, social separation rules apply.

24 Can I hold a conference outdoors? Yes, social separation rules apply.

25 Can I hold an official Stn Bonfire Night event? No, however, this is under review as it could be construed as a festival - an update will be provided as soon as possible.

26 Can the Mess hold an official function? Yes, subject to the following rules: - no more than 150 persons if the function is indoors, 250 if it is exclusively outdoors. - No more than 3 persons per square metre indoors, 2 persons per square metre outdoors - Except as far as dining is concerned, groups of no more than 50 persons.

27 Can I have an Octoberfest? If at a Mess or other dining premises: yes, subject to the rules above on “official mess functions”. Otherwise: yes, but groups of no more than 50 persons. 

28 Can I hold a Mess Christmas/New Year function? If at a Mess or other dining premises: yes, subject to the rules above on “official mess functions”. Otherwise: yes, but groups of no more than 50 persons.

29 Can I hold a theatre performance? Yes, both indoors and outdoors, but subject to social distancing guidelines and rules about maximum number, which depend on the venue’s capacity. Please seek advice of HQ BFC Med Branch.

30 Can I hold a Remembrance Day event? Yes, but attendees should be in groups of no more than 50 and overall numbers determined by the size of the venue (indoor or outdoor).

31 When are the restrictions likely to change again? The current laws are in force until 15 January, but they may change before that time if circumstances change or to take into account progress in our knowledge. The guidelines to which the laws refer are also constantly updated. It is therefore difficult to predict for how long the current restrictions will last, but the BFC community will be kept informed.

32 Can I apply for an exemption/waiver for an official or private event? Exemptions can be granted for a very limited number of circumstances (subject to relatively complex RoC Guidelines). Please seek advice from HQ BFC Med Branch. CBF will hold the final approval for exemptions/waivers.

33 How does this effect military activity? Military training and operations will continue iot maintain capability; but social distancing and hygiene measures in all workplaces must continue to be adhered to.

34 How does this effect organised physical training? Numbers are currently limited to 50 persons per group.

35 How does this effect AKT Arrivals Lounge? Passengers must be kept in separate groups of 50 persons maximum. There are other hygiene and social distancing protocols to comply with.

36 Can the Messes run Family ‘Friday’ events? Yes, however they are to be limited to 50 only; maintaining separation of larger event is not realistic. Additional family early evening events could be run but limited to 50.

37 What do I do if I have a question that is not covered here? Please seek advice through your chain of command.

 

 

*****Update 20 Aug 20******

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS COVID Testing for Travel when Coming from a Category B Country

1. My extended family and friends are arriving from a civilian airport. Are they allowed on Camp? if so, do they need to show a negative COVID 19 Certificate? • Yes, they are allowed providing you have followed the security process correctly. They will not need to show a Negative COVID 19 Test. As the RoC has already cleared them to enter the country, then they will not be required to be checked again.

2. Will the ROC and or BFC accept the NHS text message? • Yes

3. How do I get tested in the UK if I’m flying into a civilian Cypriot airport. • Apply through your Unit POC; once authorised you will receive an email with direction.

4. How will I know which test centres I can use? • There are over 60 test centres available throughout the UK. The locations can change (e.g. IKEA wanted their car parks back). When people are filling out the web-form on the UK.GOV testing site they enter their postcode and are offered a place at the closest one to their postcode.

5. Do all my children need to have tests too? • Children under 12 years old do not have to have a test. Children aged 12 years and over all require a test.

6. What if I don’t want to have a test taken? • Without a Negative result you will not be able to board civilian flights. • Anyone that refuses a test will have to Isolate for 14 days. The Med Centre will be able to test later, if required.

7. What if my child refuses to have a test taken? • Without a Negative result you will not be able to board civilian flights. • If coming on the trooper, there may be a case for dispensation to travel on the trooper (case by case basis); however, on arrival all the family will have to Isolate for 14 days. The Medical Centre will be able to test later if required.

8. What if I am flying back to drop my child off at boarding school and am only staying a day, do I need a test. • The Republic of Cyprus states that all personnel coming from a Cat B country will require a test (regardless of time spent there). You will still need to get a test so you will need to remain in the UK long enough to be tested before flying back to Cyprus.

9. How will I get my results and how long will it take. • If testing at a Regional Test Site or the Central Quarantine Facility in Shrivenham, test results should be with you within 24 hrs. • If you have a test at RAF Akrotiri you will receive a text message or call from the Medical Centre within 48 hrs of testing.

10. I am arriving just before the UK becomes a Cat B; will I be tested and allowed out of 14 days isolation with a negative result retrospectively.  • No. The decision to change the UK to a Cat B country is based on the epidemiology and risk to the RoC on the date the category is changed. Cat B criteria cannot be applied retrospectively.

11. Will I have to pay for my test or my travel to get to the test centre? • If you are on a duty flight, then test will be free, and you can claim for travel under normal regulations. • If you are flying as a concessionary traveller, the test will be free, but you will not be able to claim for your travel.

12. Who gets a free test? • BFC Personnel, dependants and Entitled contractors

13. What are the Symptoms of COVID 19 • New persistent cough, fever or loss of sense of taste or smell. If you have any of these symptoms you must isolate and contact your Medical Centre. DO NOT BOARD THE AIRCRAFT.

14. What if my test is positive? • You will be notified by a Medical Officer and given advice and support as required. Do not travel or board the aircraft.

15. Do I get a free test if I am taking a concessionary flight? • Yes, but you will not be able to claim for your travel.

16. What if I can’t access a test centre? • You will not be able to fly on a civilian flight. • You will need to contact your Head of Household’s Chain of Command who will advise as to whether you can board a Mil AT and be tested at RAF Akrotiri (isolating until results are in).

17. What if I don’t get a result in time? • You will not be able to fly on a civilian flight. • You will need to contact your Head of Household’s Chain of Command who will advise as to whether you can board a Mil AT and self-isolate until your results are received at RAF Akrotiri.

18. Whilst I am isolating does my entire family have to isolate. • Yes. Anyone in that household has to isolate until you are released from isolation.

19. My partner is concerned or classed as vulnerable in regards of COVID-19 can I be isolated somewhere other than my SFA whilst I wait for my test results? • Yes, please contact your Line Manger, who can organise accommodation through the station welfare teams.

 

*****Update 08 Aug 20*****

Special measures in Limassol district until 21 Aug (subject to change)

Fines - repeat offenders liable for up to €3000 and/or 6 months imprisonment - SBA Pol

Masks - imposed until further notice (subject to change)

All gatherings limited to 10 pax unless worshipping at a place of worship, attending a ceremony such as a wedding, christening or funeral, or in a restaurant/mess.

Restriction on gatherings in max of 10 pers - impact on schools, playgrounds, children’s facilities/settings/clubs, gyms, swimming pools, encroachments, sporting activities. See individual Facebook pages or signage for rules in specific places.

No gatherings of over 10 pers, even in separate groups or on separate tables, with the exception of those outlined above

Children are included in the 10 pers limit

Customers do not need to wear facemasks in cafes/restaurants or messes, regardless of whether inside or outside (however staff do)

All clubs/societies/events can continue provided it is only for max 10 pers at a time and people can maintain social distancing - if in doubt, do not hold event

Military activity will continue

Gatherings. In sum, all gatherings, whether inside or outside, are limited to 10 pers with the exception of worshipping at a place of worship (75), attending a ceremony such as a wedding, christening or funeral (75), or  when in a restaurant/mess (inside dining, max of 75 pers; outside dining, max of 150 pers). Table max still 10 pers, social distancing applies throughout.

*****************************************************************************************

Facemask use by the general population - Facemasks in this case are defined as Face Coverings (i.e. a scarf would do). Facemasks are to be worn (persons 6yrs old and over) in closed buildings, as follows:

 i.            Supermarkets/bakeries.

ii.            Department stores/ retail shops/ malls. This includes the Forces Stores, for example, but not an office environment (unless the office is public facing).

iii.            Churches.

iv.            Visitors at Hospitals/ clinics/ old people’s homes/ other healthcare establishments. All patients reporting to the Med Centre and Dental Centre facilities are to wear a mask.

v.            Pharmacies.

vi.            Services/ departments of the public sector and wider public sector and private businesses accepting/ serving the public (e.g. banks, Citizen Service Centres, Post Offices, EAC, etc.).

vii.            Betting Shops.

viii.            Lifts.

ix.            Libraries.

x.            Airport Terminals.

 

a.                  Facemask use by customer-facing personnel. It is mandatory for customer facing employees to wear facemasks, as follows:

 

 i.               Means of Public Transport (e.g. MT drivers).

ii.               Indoor areas of private businesses, departments of the public and wider public sector serving the public, such as Post Officers, Couriers, Cash Desks etc.

iii.               Individuals working at customer service in retail, e.g. Cashiers at supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, markets, retail shops.

iv.               Customer service in the food-supply chain, e.g. butchers, fish markets, fruit markets, kiosks, mini markets, retail shops (e.g. clothing stores, shoe stores, cosmetics stores, etc.), etc.

v.               Delivery people.

vi.               Workers in construction sites/ constructions: Individuals working in constructions must use single-use masks when moving in a car (the number of people in the car must not exceed 2),

vii.               When using lifts.

 

b.                  Special measures for Limassol District: Gatherings of up to 10 people (regardless of age) – these apply to the WSBA as well, the SBA Ordinance does not mandate this in the ESBA:

 

 i.               No person may be present in a place of residence in which more than 10 individuals (including the person in question) are simultaneously present.

ii.               No person may gather in a group of more than 10 people (including the person in question) in any place, except for the following places.

1)             A ceremony such as a wedding, funeral or christening.

2)             An act of worship at a place of religious worship.

3)             A restaurant or other catering premises where food or drink is supplied for consumption on the premises.

 

c.                  Special measures for Limassol District: Gatherings of up to 75 people (regardless of age) – these apply to the WSBA as well:

 

 i.               The person in control of a place of religious worship may permit no more than 75 persons to be simultaneously present on the premises.

ii.               A person may organise or permit a ceremony such as a wedding, funeral or christening to take place only if that person ensures that no more than 75 persons are simultaneously present.

iii.               Regarding dining premises; the maximum number of people who may be served inside dining premises is fixed at 75 persons.

iv.               The measure for maintaining a distance of 3 square metres for indoor premises per person continues to apply.

 

d.                  Special measures for Limassol District: Gatherings of up to 150 people (regardless of age) – these apply to the WSBA as well:

 

 i.               Regarding dining premises; the maximum number of people who may be served outside dining premises is fixed at 150 persons.

 

ii.               The measure for maintaining a distance of 2 square metres for outdoor premises per person continues to apply.

 

iii.               CyPol have enforced the new measures from 0001hrs 1 Aug. Fines for non-compliance are up to €300.

 

iv.               There will be more enforcement/police checks including at restaurants and shops.

 

v.               New measures to be imposed until 15 Sep (special measures for Limassol until 21 Aug).

 

vi.               Limassol District is taken to mean the whole District; this includes Pissouri, Troodos, Governors Beach.

 

Local Transport
 

a.                  Buses: With immediate effect all passenger transport with a fare per passenger in Limassol District will carry a number of passengers equal to 50% of the capacity of vehicles as a maximum. This measure applies solely to urban routes of Limassol District. It does not apply to the rest of Limassol District. Any MT runs to/from Limassol New Port using busses/ minibuses must adhere to the 50% capacity rule.

 

b.                  Taxis. The number of people, including the driver during taxi journeys in Limassol urban area shall not exceed three. This measure does not apply to the rest of Limassol District. Any MT runs into Limassol urban areas must adhere to the 3-person rule.

 

 i.               Travel within the SBAs including within Stns or through the RoC in MOD-owned transport: all passengers and drivers must wear a facemask or face coverings, when travelling in buses, minibuses and split cabs.

  ii.             Travel in any contracted transport: passengers are to wear a facemask or face covering for the duration of any journey, this includes children traveling to school.

 

c.     Personnel are to wear face coverings when travelling as a passenger on Military Air Transport operated by Defence from 15 Jun 20. Face coverings should be worn unless there are strong operational reasons not to do so which must be authorised at 2* level. Children under the age of 3 should not wear face coverings, children between the ages of 3 and 11 can wear face coverings, but they are not required to.

 

 

******Older Information below - where there is no up to date guidance for a specific issue/requirement you may have, please refer to the information below for guidance.******

What are the latest restrictions? 

  • Home gatherings are now permitted, 150 people can now gather in an outdoor space and up to 75 indoors.
  • Private vehicles can now carry more than three people at any time, including people from more than one family.

What are the rules on moving around on-base?

  • Groups of up to 10 people, including children, can now exercise together.
  • A minimum of two metres distance between yourself and other people must be adhered to at all times.
  • You should carry your usual ID while on base.
  • The Dog Park is limited to a maximum of ten people (including children) and their dogs. If you arrive at the dog park and there are already ten people using it, then please wait until there is space to use it without the limit of ten people being exceeded. Please minimise the amount of time spent in the dog park and be courteous to others waiting to use the facility.

COVID-19 exercise update (15 May)

In addition to general exercise, the following sports are permitted, but use of changing facilities is prohibited:

(a) tennis;

(b) golf;

(c) horse riding;

(d) shooting;

(e) archery;

(f) underwater sports;

(g) rock climbing or bouldering;

(h) wind sports;

(i) motorsports provided no more than one person is present in the vehicle;

(j) sailing, canoeing and kayaking, provided no more than one person is present on the sports equipment.

When will the Station Gym re-open?

The Station Gym is now open to all 24 hours a day. 

Room number limitations are as follows: 

CV suite- 16 people, Rehab Suite- 6 people, Weights Bay- 6 people, Gym Hall- 20 people.

When is the Swimming Pool open? 

The Swimming Pool has now re-opened

Swimming lessons advertised will be for the swimmers that do NOT need support in the water as all teachers must now teach from poolside. All those unable to have lessons at this time will be catered for over the Summer holidays, how we do this is still under discussion. All names of children swimming next week will be published on the Akrotiri Swimming Lesson FB site.

Happy Snappers baby swims and Junior Lanes must be booked due to limited numbers. Please call 99966048 for a slot.
The baby swims are as follows:
Monday 1000 - 1030 0-12mnths
Monday 1045 – 1115 13-24mnths
Wednesday 1030 – 1100 2-3yrs
Wednesday 1115- 1145 Mixed class for all ages 0-3yrs

Aquajog will commence as soon as possible.


For any queries please email [email protected] and for all bookings please call Julie on the number above.

 

Are the Station’s playparks, skatepark and basketball court open?

Yes, all of the Station’s playparks, the skatepark and basketball court are now open. When using these facilities, social distancing still applies and each facility is limited to a maximum of 10 children (not including supervising adults). If a particular park already has 10 children in it when you arrive, then please wait until someone leaves or return later. For those using the park, please be courteous to other users and do not spend extended periods of time in a single park. The Station’s cleaning contract does not extend to regular cleaning of the playparks; therefore, if you are concerned about the cleanliness of playpark apparatus then it is recommended that you wipe it down prior to use. Any disinfectant wipes or similar will need to be provided by the user.

When should I go into self-isolation?

You and your family should go into self-isolation if:

  • You or a member of your family develops symptoms. (Ensure you immediately consult the Medical Centre.)
  • You or a member of your family has returned to Cyprus from abroad.

If you need to self-isolate, please call the Medical Centre on +357 2527 6553 immediately for further guidance.

Info for those who are in isolation (SFA)

Info for those who are in isolation (SLA)

How have postings been affected?

  • All postings in the RAF and the Army have been paused until 1 July 20. 
  • If your posting at RAF Akrotiri has now been extended and you require an extension to your status stamp, please contact the SBAA Fiscal Office through their enquiry form available here.
  • There will be no automatic extension to tour lengths for those scheduled to move after summer 2020. Any tour extension requests should be submitted through your chain of command.
  • Those travelling back to the UK will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. More information can be found here

Can I travel overseas for leave?

Please see the below flowchart which outlines how BFC military personnel, UKBCs and dependents can travel from and return to the Republic of Cyprus. For more information on exit and re-entry requirements in the Republic of Cyprus, including the flight pass system, country categories, and FCO travel advice , please access the following links:

RoC Flight Pass and county categories 
FCO Travel advice 
 

It is acknowledged that civilian flights to/from the Republic of Cyprus to a number of countries including Greece will commence on 9 Jun 20 and that BFC relaxation of measures has largely aligned with those introduced by the Cypriot Government. However, on this occasion HQ BFC’s decision has been made in accordance with advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) which is applicable to all British nationals irrelevant of current location. Travel to countries where the FCO advises British nationals against will invalidate travel/health insurance and limit UK diplomatic support. Also, personnel are not entitled to MoD healthcare (including aeromedical evacuation) whilst on leave. Therefore, if BFC personnel were to travel to those countries now permitted by the Republic of Cyprus then there would be very limited support in the event of them getting into difficulties. In addition, even though travel to certain countries is allowed, both the Republic of Cyprus and receiving nation require personnel to be tested for COVID-19 upon entry and remain in a Government facility for at least 24hrs whilst their test samples are processed. 

Booking Flights with civilian airlines

Flights are booked at your own risk should the category of a country change or if the UK's upgrade to Cat B is delayed.

Can I have family and friends to visit? 

Personnel are now permitted to have guests from category A/B countries onto base (please note that the UK is still category C, this may change on the 1 Aug but is subject to constant review).

Those wishing to visit the station will be required to provide a evidence of their arrival from a Cat A country in the form of a ticket or if travelling from a Cat B country a negative test result (valid within 72 hours of the time of flight).

What about the health of our visitors?

It's important that the BFC/ SBAA community are not only aware of what medical care is available to us but we should also be aware of what and what isn't available to our guests.

We are very lucky as those of us that are entitled have the comfort of medical and dental centres on our doorstep, these facilities are not available to visitors and guests.

Seeing a Doctor

If guests do need to see a doctor or dentist for any reason you would need to source a local provider, your guests will be charged for this service. All hospitals in Cyprus charge for treatment to people not entitled to use the Cyprus National Health Scheme. 

Hospital Care 

If guests require urgent or emergency treatment in one of the state hospitals within Cyprus they will be charged, the bills can be quite significant.

Where emergency care such as fractures, Road traffic accidents, or heart attack is needed in the SBA our teams will respond and transfer to the appropriate hospital. Where we know that visitors have private insurance cover that helps us to know where is the right place to access ongoing care.

Travel and Health Insurance

Your guests really should consider travel and or medical insurance to ensure they are covered for such eventualities.Without it they may face a bill for thousands of Euros?at a time when they have enough to worry about.

EHIC Card 

We also recommend that everyone carries a European health insurance card, these cards are free and can be sourced through an official .GOV website and cover you for many eventualities.? EHIC cards are something we insist all those posted to Cyprus must have as well. If you are posted here and do not have your EHIC Card to hand please address this today.

It is worth noting that EHIC cards are not valid in the Northern part of Cyprus, if any of us, as well as our guests, are traveling to the north of Cyprus, you should seriously consider health insurance or a travel insurance that covers health issues.

Bottom line 

We have a responsibility to ourselves and those we host on island. The support BFC personnel and their families get is not the same for visitors.

Health care in Cyprus costs money and no one can predict when they might need treatment. Check that you are covered in both parts of the island by private Health insurance or in the South your EHIC card and make sure your visitors do the same. This is not a part of anyone’s visit they should take a risk on, so please don’t let them.? 

Is the Forces Store still open?

  • The Forces Store is open. Opening times have now returned to normal:

Forces Store

Mon-Sat: 0800-1900
Sun: 0900-1500

Forces Store Express

Mon-Sun 1000-2230

  • Handwashing facilities have been put in place at the entrance to the store, please use them!
  • There will be occasions where you have to take your children to Forces Store; however, we ask you to please avoid bringing them where possible as it is important to minimise footfall.

I own a small business. How have I been affected?

Small businesses are now permitted to trade. New business applications will now be processed as normal.

Please direct any queries to the SBAA Fiscal Office through their enquiry form available here. You can check their Facebook page for the latest guidance they have published.

Guidance on financial support 

If you are to qualify for Cypriot business relief then you need to have been paying Social Insurance into the Republic of Cyprus. If you are not paying Social Insurance you do not qualify for relief from the Republic of Cyprus. 

If you are self employed and you are working remotely for businesses in the UK and are therefore paying UK tax and National Insurance then you may be entitled to the self employment relief that the Chancellor has announced. The guidance given is that you should not be contacting HMRC directly. They are working through all their employment records and if you are entitled then you should receive the payment in June. 

Is the Recycling Centre open?

The Station Recycling Centre has re-opened with the following hours:

1000-1500 Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
0900-1300 Sat

How are you maintaining Mental Wellbeing, especially for those in Single Living Accommodation?

A lot of money has been spent putting televisions, BFBS and WiFi in to all isolation blocks. Those isolated for transit reasons (non-symptomatic) have segregated areas where they can go outside. There are also common rooms, which can be used as long as social distancing is maintained.

Mental health resources

Headspace-  Do you want to try meditation? 10 minutes per day for 10 days is a good way to start.

Get self-help- A great open source tool for managing worry amongst other top tips.

The Big White Wall- An interactive (Free for serving AFP) online resource that offers courses, e-learning and clinician monitored chat rooms to support and be supported by others in times of hardship.

Mood Gym- From our friends 'down under' - whilst they are not throwing shrimps on the BBQ they are improving our mental health with this CBT based online tool.

The Samaritans– The Mental Health Team have worked with these guys in various areas of defence for many years. Although we are here for you 24 hrs a day alongside your unit welfare, sometimes you might need a little bit more. If that's the case, please reach out to someone - these guys are great at helping people stay safe and get better.

BFBS PressReader access

BFBS and its partner PressReader are working together to provide additional welfare support to our audiences during the current situation. You now have access to 60 days of free digital newspapers and magazines from PressReader’s catalogue of over 7000 titles.

Here are three simple steps on how to access this service.

Can I still receive mail?

Post is continuing to arrive as normal. This is then disseminated via Squadron and line managers will distribute to personnel.

Is childcare being provided?

  • We have set up childcare for the children of essential workers which will be run in the Early Years Centre. If this applies to you then you will be contacted.
  • During this uncertain period, your chain of command will work to be as flexible as is possible in ensuring your childcare needs are met around your work commitments.
  • Domestic Assistants are permitted to work in SFA, but must adhere to strict personal hygiene protocols and social distancing measures to be applied.
  • A number of children have returned to school already either on a permanent or rotational basis. Plans for when additional year groups will return will be disseminated by Head Teachers
  • Click here to read a letter containing some helpful info from the BFC Youth & Community workers.

Will repairs to accommodation continue as normal?

At present, contractors will still attend to carry out essential repairs in both single living and married accommodation. The exception for this is that if people within the household are in isolation, contractors will not attend. The list of houses in isolation is passed onto DIO and is updated daily.

Is the 'pool man' allowed on to the Station?

The ‘Pool Man’ has now been given dispensation to trade again, so he is now able to fill up temporary swimming pools within the WSBA.

Mr Andreas Polycarpou can be contacted on 99347741 or 25390842. Please note, this is now the only way of filling pools up, the use of other means including hose pipes are strictly prohibited and contravene BFC Orders.

The 'Pool Man' will issue an official receipt which must be taken to the Housing Office and placed on record.

If you have any more questions about filling your pool please contact the Housing Office. 

Who can use my private pool?

Garden pools can be used by children and adults from other households, as well as those from your own.

Am I able to bring my pet to/from the UK?

British (Forces) Animal Rehoming Centre (BARC) have access to flights that can transport pets to and from the UK. If anyone requires pets transporting, they should contact [email protected].

I have volunteered to help. Will I be paid?

Those who have volunteered and are working to help with efforts on Station will be placed on to a zero-hours contract and will be paid for the work they complete. Those who are being paid have been contacted.

Can I carry this year's Get You Home (Overseas) flight over to next year?

Where possible Get You Home (Overseas) travel warrants should be used within their one year validity period. However, where this has not been possible or personnel anticipate that they will not be able to use their warrant because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, then they should apply to carry over their warrant into the next year. This will result, where eligible, in personnel being able to use two warrants next year. Applications to carry forward a travel warrant should be made to PSF who will coordinate and present to the Commanding Officer.

 

We are working hard on keeping you up-to-date with the latest information. Please keep checking here and on the RAF Akrotiri Community Support Facebook page for further information. If you can't find what you're looking for please email with any questions that you have to [email protected].

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