The Republic of Cyprus has published a second video in its “Better Days” campaign, with the tourism minister pushing for a way forward but at the same time also backing measures to reduce public health risks.
In a new video titled “Better Days are Here” posted on YouTube on Thursday night, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism issued a second call to foreign tourists to visit the island after a nearly three-month lockdown. The clip is a follow up to a previous video titled Better Days are Coming.
The Republic has been marketing itself as a safe holiday destination amid the coronavirus pandemic, after health experts on the island said the infection rate index was negligible.
But concerns have also emerged following reports over an apparent lack of discipline amongst citizens who have been told to self-isolate.
A list of countries in three categories was also created to manage low and high risk from foreign tourists visiting the country, as the re-opening of Larnaca International Airport took place earlier this week and Paphos airport was set to resume flights by end of next week.
Reports said the government was betting on a few countries including Israel as “low risk” states, but reports on Thursday said the neighbouring country had been bumped to the second category, where relatively low risk was higher than the first category.
'They can order room service, meals and drinks, and will be provided with nightly entertainment including karaoke, shows and bingo so it will still feel like a holiday'
Deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios confirmed the news on Thursday, saying the government was concerned over the development.
“Nobody knows how temporary this is going to be, meaning how many weeks Israel will remain in the second category,” Perdios said.
The tourism minister also stated the government’s position that countries were being classified strictly on health criteria and not tourism, reiterating that this year was expected to be tough on the industry.
“We want to let the health ministry and the epidemiologists to do their job right. Public health and safety come first,” he added.
Perdios also pointed out that positive developments, such as Switzerland bumped up to first category, saying this was positive as there had been some interest in the country’s tourist market in recent weeks.
The deputy minister said this year was moving step by step, adding that governments did not have the luxury for long-term planning as data changed from week to week.
Cyprus keeps "holiday vibe" for infected tourists
“This is very difficult not only for us but also for tour operators, and we have to accept that this is the way we need to operate this year so that we can win whatever we can right now, no matter how many changes come our way.”
Perdios, who also spoke to MailOnline Travel, said quarantine hotels for tourists who may get infected on the island would have a holiday vibe.
"They can order room service, meals and drinks, and will be provided with nightly entertainment including karaoke, shows and bingo so it will still feel like a holiday. The government will cover the cost of this. We don’t want visitors to end up paying double," the minsiter was quoted as saying.
Full video below: