Thursday, August 6, 2020

Cyprus pledges to cover costs for virus-hit tourists

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Posted 7:37 a.m. ET Might 27, 2020


Cyprus' 300 days of sunshine a 12 months present ample alternative to discover the coast in locations like Pissouri Bay on the south facet of the island. (Photograph: f8grapher / Getty Photographs / iStockphoto)

Cyprus agrees to cowl all prices for anybody who assessments constructive for coronavirus whereas on vacation in the eastern Mediterranean island nation, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Cypriot government says it will cover accommodation, food, drinks and medications for COVID-19 patients and their families. Patients will only have to pay for the taxi ride to the airport and the flight back home.

A 100-bed hospital will exclusively serve positive foreign travelers. About 112 intensive care units equipped with 200 respirators will be reserved for critically ill patients. A 500-room "quarantine hotel" will be reserved for family members of patients and other close contacts.

The promise came in a five-page letter dated Tuesday that was sent to governments, airlines and tour operators detailing the stringent health and hygiene protocols that the government is enacting to attract visitors to the tourism-dependent country.

Tourism directly represents 13% of the Cyprus economy. This year, the country expects to lose up to 70% of the 2,600 million euros (2,850 million dollars) in income generated by tourism.

The letter, signed by Cyprus's foreign affairs, transport and tourism ministers, boasts that the country has one of the lowest proportions of coronavirus per capita in Europe after evaluating more than 10% of its population.

International air travel to Cyprus begins on June 9, initially from 19 countries, and passengers must undergo a COVID-19 test three days before departure. That measure will be lifted on June 20 for 13 countries, including Germany, Finland, Israel, Greece and Norway.

Authorities say the trips will be expanded to more countries depending on a constant assessment of their infection rates.

Passengers must show their test certificate before boarding an airplane and must wear masks throughout the flight. Its temperature will be taken upon arrival in Cyprus and some random tests can be carried out at no cost to the traveler.

Tourists will also be required to complete a "COVID-19 Traveler Declaration" indicating all their trips 14 days prior to their trip to Cyprus and who have not shown symptoms of coronavirus for 72 hours prior to departure or who have been in contact with persons infected 14 days before

While in Cyprus, people who are not in the same travel group are required to keep at least two square meters (21 square feet) outdoors and three square meters (32 square feet) indoors.

Regularly disinfected hammocks will be separated by two meters (6.5 feet) for people who do not belong to the same travel group.

Hotel staff will be required to wear masks with disinfected rooms after each departure. In restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs, the tables will be separated by at least two meters (6.5 feet) with a maximum group size of 10. Guests will be encouraged to pay by card instead of cash.

It is unclear what the exact protocols will be for nightclubs.

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