Cyprus tourist arrivals saw an annual 93 per cent drop in January to March, data from the Cyprus statistical service (Cystat) showed on Monday.

Between January to March this year, 246,556 tourists arrived on the island, recording a steep drop of 92.8 per cent compared with the small period last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions continue to affect the tourist sector.

Tourist arrivals amounted to 8,811 in March, a drop of 84.1 per cent compared with March 2020 and 94.8 per cent compared with March 2019 before the pandemic outbreak on the island.

Arrivals from Greece were the main source of tourism for the month with a share of 32.2 per cent of total arrivals, followed by France with 10.6 per cent and Germany with 10.5 per cent, Cystat added.

Meanwhile, locals are still not allowed to stay in hotels despite them being open for tourists.

According to Cystat, the number of Cyprus residents travelling abroad also fell by an annual 72 per cent in March.

A total of 13,289 residents of Cyprus returned from a trip abroad in March 2021, compared with 47,393 in the corresponding month last year.

Cyprus is under the least safe ‘dark red’ category based on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as the 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate is higher than 500 per 100,000 residents.