About 65 per cent of hospitality venues are currently in operation islandwide, while business is at around 50 cent, the head of one of the business associations representing the sector said on Monday.

President of Osika (association of owners of hospitality centres) Neophytos Thrasyvoulou said the pandemic had derailed owners’ projections. Occupancy was down by half, except on weekends when locals are out and about.

The problem is most acute in Paphos and Polis Chrysochous, followed by the free Famagusta area, Limassol, Larnaca and then Nicosia, he said.

Thrasyvoulou thanked Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou for heeding Osika’s call to extend the support scheme which he said could keep businesses going.

And he said that there were hopes there would be increased business from other tourist markets, beyond the British one.

Thrasyvoulou said the association was pushing for incentive schemes to encourage domestic tourism be extended until March to help keep businesses viable.