Cyprus Mail

A date for the start of UK flights would be helpful for tourism, Karayiannis says

File Photo; CNA

The UK needs to join countries in Cyprus’ category B, which require a coronavirus test to enter the country, a government scientific expert said on Tuesday.

Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School Dr Petros Karayiannis when asked when the UK will join the category B countries, said: “This depends of the epidemiological picture it will present in the coming days”.

He noted there was now a new local lockdown in Leicester.

“If there is a wide spread, then it will be difficult to integrate the UK even into category B,” he added.

Asked to comment on statements by deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdiou that July 15 was a reasonable date for the resumption of flights from the UK, Karayiannis stressed if the country was included in category B “we could accept travellers who present test results”.

He added it would be good to set a date for the arrival of flights from the UK so that travel agents and airlines can make plans.

Commenting on the question as to whether Cyprus has many imported cases, Karayiannis said there was no need to worry as the cases are detected at the airports.

He stressed that most of the cases in recent weeks have originated in category C countries, which are on the no-fly list but have arrivals transiting category B countries.

“The cases are not on a daily basis, they come to us almost every two days and they are from the countries which we know belong outside the two categories.”

According to Karayiannis this phenomenon will continue.

“It is expected that some people who belong to category C countries will travel from airports of countries that either belong to category A or category B. They indicate their destinations on the card they fill out. Upon their arrival in Cyprus, they take a sample if they do not have a certificate”, he noted.

As for the development of vaccines, he commented scientists were racing against time to find the right vaccine against Covid-19.

“There are six or seven vaccines at the moment which are more advanced than the others, two from England, one from Russia, one from America, two from China which are in an advanced stage of testing. We have to wait for the results,” he concluded.

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