Cyprus’ government is hoping to boost tourism to the holiday island with a new plan aimed at protecting tourists and locals from coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has said it will cover the costs of accommodation, medicine and food for any travellers who contract the COVID-19 whilst visiting the region.
The measures will also cover the cost of any family travelling with the patient.
In a letter outlining the plan the government said that tourists will only “will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight”
Cyprus has seen just 17 deaths as a result of the pandemic, with 939 people across the nation contracting the virus.
It is hoped that the new measures will help encourage tourism to the region, which has seen a major blow in recent months.
Tourism accounts for around 13 percent of the country’s economy, but this year it anticipates losing as much as 70 percent of the anticipated €2.6 billion (£2.33 billion) in revenue.
There are approximately 112 intensive care units fitted with 200 respirators.
However, when international travel to the country resumes on 9 June, UK holidaymakers won’t be amongst those heading to its sandy shores.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel though, with Britons hoped to return by July.
“The UK is definitely our prime market, the bread and butter of Cyprus tourism whose importance is undisputed,” Zacharias Ioannides, head of the Cyprus Hotels Association in Nicosia, told The Sun.
“But right now health safety is of prime concern and everything depends on what epidemiologists say.”
Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios added: “For our important markets like the UK, Russia and Sweden I expect in early July the situation (there) will allow their travel to Cyprus. I am quite optimistic about that.”
Passengers will have to prove they do not have coronavirus before they board their flight, and must wear face masks while travelling.
Travellers will also have their temperature checked on arrival and must complete a ‘COVID-19 Traveller Declaration’ list outlining any places they have visited prior to landing.
The new measures are very similar to those outlined by Greece, which reopened to tourists this week.
Greece has said that travellers from around two dozen countries will be allowed to come to Greece from July without having to be quarantined.
Government officials have said that tourists from 20-25 countries will be allowed in.
These countries include Germany, Cyprus, Israel and countries in central Europe and the Balkans.
Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis told ITV News the government would be giving the green-light to countries based on “epidemiological criteria”.
Unfortunately, Britons cases remain too high for Greece to comfortably allow tourism.
Theoharis added that UK travellers will not be accepted until figures show that the virus has “improved” in the country.
Published at Thu, 28 May 2020 10:24:00 +0000