Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 31 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Cyprus will pay holiday costs for any tourist who tests positive for Covid-19

The measure has been announced in the hope of encouraging visitors back to the island

Sunbeds lie empty along a beach in the Cypriot resort town of Ayia Napa, as the island country announces plans to pay for infected tourists' holiday costs. AFP 
Sunbeds lie empty along a beach in the Cypriot resort town of Ayia Napa, as the island country announces plans to pay for infected tourists' holiday costs. AFP 

Cyprus has pledged to cover the holiday costs of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus after travelling there in a bid to encourage tourists back to the country.

Medicine, accommodation and food for patients and their families would be paid for by the government under the new plans. However, tourists would have to cover the cost of airport transfers and repatriation flights.

The move was announced on Wednesday as part of a package to lure visitors back to the island, which relies heavily on tourism, accounting for about 15 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Cyprus has reported fewer than 1,000 infections and 17 deaths, according to latest figures.

A 100-bed hospital will be kept aside for tourists who test positive, and further “quarantine hospitals” will be made available for the families of patients being treated.

All passengers will be made to undergo a test three days prior to departure, and they will be expected to present their test certificate before boarding their flight.

Airports across Cyprus will reopen on June 9 to holidaymakers from countries deemed as low risk, including Germany, Greece and Malta.

It is expected that passengers from Russia and the UK – which account for more than half of all visitors to the country – will be able to return in July.

"The hit is massive, and we are trying to do our best now and do what we can for the remainder of the season," said deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios. "We have worked extremely hard to keep the virus in check here."

Cyprus was among 11 countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, to come together last week to reach an agreement to implement a new set of rules to allow cross border travel ahead of the peak European summer season.

Updated: May 28, 2020 02:07 PM

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