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04 October, 2023
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Greek tourism minister does 'not understand’ travel downgrade by Cyprus

Greece's Tourism Minister said he was baffled by Cyprus' move to bump the country down to the higher-risk category B which requires travellers to present a negative Covid-19 test

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said he does not understand why Cyprus decided to downgrade Greece in its three-tier risk system grouping countries based on their epidemiological data, adding that he hopes the issue will be clarified between the two countries soon.

“It is a decision that I do not understand, I consider it to be wrong, I do not know exactly what criteria it was based on,” Theoharis told radio station Parapolitika FM.

“I hope that there will be an understanding and an explanation between the epidemiologists of the two sides so that the position can be explained that our country is very safe and much safer than any other country,” he continued.

“I do not consider it logical and right for our country to be in category B.”

Cyprus announced on Sunday it will introduce compulsory testing for all arrivals from Greece from August 6, after a spike in coronavirus infections in Greece over the past week.

The health ministry said any travellers from Greece would be required to show a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours of travel to Cyprus. 

On Monday, the Cyprus Health Ministry announced that Cyprus nationals and permanent residents of Cyprus who had already travelled to Greece prior to its downgrading would be offered a free coronavirus test upon their return to a Cyprus airport. 

Cyprus travel agents said that hours after the island's decision to bump Greece down to the higher-risk category B, they were flooded with telephone calls from clients wishing to cancel their bookings. 

Monday also saw Cyprus Airways cancel postpone flights to Thessaloniki and Skiathos scheduled for August 18, while it also decreased the frequency of its offered flights to Athens and Heraklion.

Cyprus  |  Greece  |  travel  |  coronavirus  |  health  |  category  |  tourism  |  downgrade

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