Cyprus has sent a letter to its tourism partners abroad with the protocols that will allow the country to safely re-open and avoid the need for quarantining visitors.
The letter was signed by Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, Minister of Transport Yiannis Karousos and Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios.
It also refers to an inspection mechanism that has been established to ensure strict compliance by everyone involved in the tourism industry.
The partners abroad are invited to choose Cyprus as a destination and special mention is made of the timely measures taken to effectively reduce the spread of the pandemic, which has resulted in the country being able to reopen its tourist accommodation from June 1, as well as its airports from June 9.
The letter includes a question and answers section clarifying all the points concerning the reopening of Cyprus as a destination.
Entry into the country
Source countries are divided into categories A and B and it is mentioned that as from June 20, travellers from countries in category A will not need a health certificate for COVID-19. Travelers from category B countries are required to have a PCR test certificate at the source country 72 hours prior to travel. If their country is unable to make a PCR testing widely available to the public, compulsory testing will be required upon arrival at Cyprus airports, at a cost of 60 euros per person. The results will be available up to 24 hours later, so in the meantime travellers will be asked to self-isolate at their booked accommodation.
Travel from countries which are not featured in the above two categories, is allowed only in exceptional circumstances and after receiving prior approval by the Cyprus government. This will also be the case for transit travel via these countries.
It is reported that the countries included in categories A and B will be reviewed per week, depending on the epidemiological data.
Also, those traveling to Cyprus must complete a ” COVID-19 Traveller Declaration” that will be made available on the Cyprus foreign ministry`s website, which will be requested prior to boarding and at border control at the destination.
This statement will request information about the passenger`s travels 14 days before arrival in Cyprus, confirmation that the traveller has not visited or resided in a country not included in categories A and B, confirmation that they have not shown symptoms related to COVID- 19 in the 72 hours before the flight and that they did not come in contact with coronavirus patients 14 days before the flight. Also, a statement that the traveller is coming to Cyprus at his own responsibility and that the Republic of Cyprus and business operating within it cannot be held liable for infection. At the same time, it includes a disclaimer that upon return to their country of origin, a person will notify the Health Authorities of Cyprus, should they display COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days leaving the island.
Prior to boarding, travellers will need to show their valid PCR test certificate if applicable and “COVID-19 Traveller Declaration”. Travellers’ temperature may possibly be taken prior to boarding. Wearing of masks may be made compulsory during the flight.
At the Cyprus airports entrance or passage will only be allowed to travellers and staff. Travelers will have their temperature taken at border control. A physical COVID-19 Information Desk will be made available for travellers requesting information upon arrival.
Enhanced safety and health protocols have been devised for all hospitality establishments and there will be extensive staff training in them.
Physical distancing measures will also be followed in all parts of the island so that people who do not belong to the same travel group maintain a reasonable a distance of 2 metres outdoors and 3 metres indoors. Where physical distance is not possible, such as on public transport or airports, wearing a mask for staff and visitors will be compulsory.
Frequent aeriation will be taking place in all indoor areas, so that air conditioning can be enhanced with regular input of fresh air. Antibacterial gel will be made available in all establishments.
Buses, rental vehicles, taxis, museums etc
There will be frequent aeriation and disinfection of buses, as well as disinfection of rental cars after their return.
There will also be disinfection of all touch points after every route for taxi and diving/safari jeeps.
In archaeological sites, museums, theme parks, mini cruises, diving sites and water sports there will be disinfection of all touch points after every route.
Swimming pools, beaches and water parks
After each use, the sunbeds, umbrellas and safe boxes will be disinfected.
There will be a distance of 4 metres between umbrellas and 2 meters between the sunbeds for people who do not belong to the same group.
Physical distancing does not apply to lifeguards who are called into urgent life-saving.
All staff will use masks and carry out proper hand hygiene. There will be dispersion of guests at group check-in and rooms will not be allocated to new arrivals, unless enough time has passed for appropriate cleaning, disinfection and aeriation.
There will be disinfection of room keys/cards after every departure.
Where food or drink is displayed on self-service stations, appropriate sneeze guards and hand disinfection stations will be installed. Alternative, items could be served directly by the staff or guest may be encouraged to use face mask.
Restaurants, bars, cafes, pubs and nightclubs
Use of a mask and proper hand hygiene by all staff will be required, however the use of a mask will not be compulsory for staff serving outdoors during the daytime due to the intense heat.
Service times will be extended and advance booking will be enabled to facilitate physical distancing.
The maximum party size is set at 10 persons. The minimum distance between the tables of people who do not belong to the same group will be two meters. The menus will be disinfected after each use unless they are disposable.
Customers will be encouraged to pay by card and not by cash. All touch points will be disinfected after each use. Table linen and towels will be preferably disposable.
An information sheet will be made available at the entrance, displaying the maximum number of guests allowed in place at any given time.
Testing for COVID-19
A random number of travellers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Cyprus, regardless of country of origin. The cost will be borne by the Cyprus government.
If a traveller test positive during his stay in Cyprus, he/she will receive free medical care from the Republic of Cyprus and will only have to bear the cost of returning to his home country.
A hospital for COVID-19 with 100 beds will be available exclusively for travellers who test positive, and these can be increased at very short notice if required. If travellers show critical symptoms an additional 112 intensive care units are available for their treatment.
Additionally, 500 rooms in dedicated quarantine hotels will be made available for close contacts of persons who test positive. This means that if an accommodation establishment be found to host a person who has tested positive, it will not be ordered into a 14-day quarantine.
All relevant information should also be made available on the website www.visitcyprus.com/cyprus-covid19-travel -protocol.