Cyprus on Friday worked out the details of the resumption of its tourism sector, with the Cabinet green lighting a two-stage action plan for the reopening of the Larnaca and Paphos airports.
Speaking after the Cabinet meeting that convened under President Nicos Anastasiades, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said Cabinet ministers approved an action plan, that was prepared by the inter-ministerial committee set up to deal with matters relating to the coronavirus pandemic, for the gradual lifting of the ban on flights to and from the Republic’s two airports and for the resumption of the operation of hotels.
Regarding hotels, the Cabinet decided to allow them to resume operation as of June 1, with their operation governed by health protocols to be issued by the Health Ministry.
The action plan unfolds over two phases, with phase one stretching from June 9 to June 19, followed by phase two which kicks off on June 20.
The plan also takes into account a list drawn up by the government’s health advisory committee involving the 20 countries that Cyprus will be reinstating flight connections with, and which separates included countries into two categories.
Countries in the first category are Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, and Lithuania.
Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic were placed in category two.
According to Karousos, in phase one, visitors arriving from any of the two categories of countries will be required to present proof of a negative coronavirus test conducted within 72 hours prior to boarding by a certified laboratory.
Cypriot citizens and legal residents of Cyprus returning to the island will also be able to take the test upon their arrival, in which case they will be rquired to remain in self-isolation in their homes until results are out.
During phase two, passengers travelling from category A countries will not be required to present proof of having tested negative to coronavirus, while this requirement will remain for tourists flying in from category B countries.
Regarding all countries not included in the list, flights will be permitted into Cyprus airports given that passengers are legal residents of Cyprus or have been granted special permission to travel to Cyprus.
This special permission can be granted by presenting proof of a negative coronavirus result, obtained within 72 hours prior to boarding time.
Alternatively, tourists may also opt to take the test in Cyprus, in which case they will be required to remain in designated isolation accommodation for one day or until lab results are issued.
All passengers of a nationality of a country not included in the list will be required to remain in quarantine for two weeks, and will be required to shoulder the cost of a lab test for coronavirus, all costs involved during the quarantine period, and any transport costs that may arise.
Karousos said the Health Ministry is continuously evaluating the epidemiological situation of countries, in order to update the categorization of countries when necessary, adding that more countries will be added to the list in the coming days.