Cyprus units stage for tourism restoration as airports reopen

Well being-virus-Cyprus-tourismNicosia: Cyprus opens again up for worldwide tourism on Tuesday, with airports welcoming guests after an virtually three-month shutdown, and a daring plan to cowl well being care prices for guests.
However with arrivals anticipated to be down by 70 % this yr as a result of chaos introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a leap of religion for the small Mediterranean vacation island.
“No one right here is anticipating to make any cash this yr”, Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios advised AFP.
“We’re setting the stage for the start of our restoration in 2021.”
The divided island’s tourism sector usually accounts for round 15 % of GDP however has dried up in previous months amid international measures to fight the unfold of the novel coronavirus.
Cyprus noticed a file 3.97 million arrivals in 2019, with greater than half its market made up of British and Russian guests.
However even when the island’s airports in Larnaca and Paphos will confide in arrivals on Tuesday with the primary flight resulting from arrive from Athens round noon (0900GMT), neither Britain or Russia are among the many 19 nations allowed to land there.
The record of permitted nations, which additionally embrace Bulgaria, Germany and Malta, have been chosen primarily based on epidemiological knowledge and break up into two classes.
Initially all travellers might want to present proof of a detrimental COVID-19 check undertaken inside 72 hours of journey, however from June 20, solely these arriving from six nations within the second class, corresponding to Poland and Romania, will want to take action.
The federal government says the lists shall be revised weekly and extra nations will be added.
Cyprus will even cowl lodging, eating and medical take care of any vacationers who fall in poor health with the COVID-19 sickness throughout their keep, in addition to lodging and meals for his or her households and shut contacts.
“What we provide and what we promote shouldn’t be the solar and the ocean, it is hospitality, and that is an extension of our hospitality,” Perdios mentioned.
The federal government has designated a 100-bed COVID-19 hospital for vacationers that Perdios mentioned could be situated within the Larnaca area, whereas 112 ICU models have been allotted for guests.
Perdios mentioned a number of four-star resorts would supply 500 quarantine rooms for shut contacts of those that fall in poor health.

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‘Proper factor to do’
A raft of different well being measures, together with disinfection protocols and temperature checks at border controls, purpose to guard travellers and locals alike.
“We have gone to huge lengths to suppose forward of issues that might go fallacious and attempt to devise plan Bs and Cs”, Perdios mentioned.
The Republic of Cyprus, within the south of the island, has registered 960 novel coronavirus circumstances and 17 deaths.
Perdios expressed hope that British vacationers could possibly be welcomed “someday after mid-July”, with Russia “barely later, possibly by a few weeks”.
A just lately introduced cope with Hungarian low-cost service Wizz Air to open a base in Cyprus from July was additionally an vital step in direction of increasing and diversifying the island’s vacationer markets, he mentioned.
Whereas no date has been set to permit worldwide vacationers to go to the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, solely recognised by Ankara, the well being care dedication would nonetheless apply to these visiting the north throughout their keep as soon as the crossings are reopened.
“I’m very assured that not solely will we have the ability to proceed offering our residents with safety, but in addition caring for everyone who involves the island on vacation”, he mentioned.
“If we’re popping out with a scheme like this, it is as a result of we are able to afford it, however most significantly, as a result of we really feel that it is the proper factor to do.”