With countries keen to attract visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cyprus has pledged to cover costs for anyone who tests positive for the virus while on vacation there. Inbound air travel resumes on 9 June, initially from 19 countries that are considered low risk, and will be expanded to more countries as their infection rates diminish.
The eastern Mediterranean island country has set aside a 100-bed hospital to care exclusively for visitors who test positive, and will cover medication, lodging, food and drink for them and their families. In a letter sent to governments, airlines and tour operators, it was revealed that the patients’ families and close contacts will stay at a 500-room “quarantine hotel," and the only bills the country will not cover are for repatriation flights and taxis to airports.
Strict health and hygiene protocols will be implemented, including the enforcement of social distancing, disinfection of sunbeds, the encouragement of contactless card payments, and the wearing of masks by hotel staff. Cypriot authorities want visitors to carry health certificates proving they have tested negative for the virus at least three days before departure. This precautionary measure will be lifted on June 20 for 13 countries, although officials will administer temperature checks and free random testing of arrivals.
At the time of publication, Cyprus has had 943 positive cases of COVID and 17 deaths in the Greek south, while the Turkish north of the island declared itself to be virus-free several weeks ago.
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