No one expects to make money from tourism this year, Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said on Saturday, ahead of the first arrivals expected on Tuesday.
According to statements Perdios made to AFP and reported by the Cyprus News Agency, Cyprus is focusing on a revival in the sector in 2021.
The report said Cyprus saw a record 3.97 million arrivals last year, mostly from the UK and Russia.
However, the list of permitted countries, which includes Greece, Bulgaria, Germany and Malta, have been chosen based on epidemiological data and do not include these two markets.
Initially all travellers will need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test undertaken within 72 hours of travel, but from June 20, only those arriving from six countries in the second category, such as Poland and Romania, will need to do so.
The government said the lists will be revised weekly.
The state will also cover the hospitalisation costs of whoever tests positive. Their close family and / or contacts will be taken to a government designated quarantine facility and remain there for 14 days. This will also ensure the hotel at which they were staying would not have to close.
“What we offer and what we sell is not the sun and the sea, it’s hospitality, and this is an extension of our hospitality,” Perdios said.
The government has designated a 100-bed Covid-19 hospital for tourists that Perdios said would be in the Larnaca region, while intensive care beds have been allocated for visitors.
Perdios said several four-star hotels would provide 500 quarantine rooms for close contacts of those who fall ill.
In further statements to Greek news agency, Athens-Macedonia Press, Perdios said both Greece and Cyprus are giving off good signs in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Perdios said cooperation between Greece and Cyprus in the field of tourism is focused on attracting tourists from distant markets, such as China, Korea, America and Australia, with good connectivity between the two countries being a positive factor in achieving this goal.
He pointed out that this year is an ideal opportunity for visitors to the island to enjoy Cyprus with less congestion, combined with high levels of health safety.