Cyprus hopes to attract tourists after its coronavirus lockdown by vowing to cover all costs for any individual that tests positive for COVID-19 while holidaying on the island.
In a letter signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Transport, and Deputy Minister of Tourism, the government agreed to pay for accommodation, medication, and food for patients and their families.
At the time of publication, Cyprus has reported 939 coronavirus cases and 17 related deaths.
“The traveller will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight, in collaboration with their agent and/or airline,” the letter explains.
Cyprus has also implemented a 100-bed hospital that will cater exclusively to foreign travellers who test positive. If visitors show “critical symptoms,” an extra 112 intensive care units are available for treatment, with 200 respirators “on hand at any time” for use.
Designated “quarantine hotels” will have 500 rooms available for family members and close contacts of patients.
Cyprus will reopen its airports on June 9 as it gradually lifts restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Those arriving between June 9–19 will need to provide a health certificate proving they do not have the virus and may have to wear masks throughout the flight. Their temperature will be taken on arrival to Cyprus and some random testing may take place at no cost to the traveller.
Tourists will also have to fill out a “COVID-19 Traveler Declaration” stating all their travels 14 days prior to their Cyprus trip and that they have neither shown any coronavirus symptoms for 72 hours before departure nor that they have been in contact with infected people 14 days before.
Cyprus took measures early to prevent the spread of coronavirus, shutting its borders to all except Cypriots, European workers and those with special permits, then extended the shutdown to all air links. These were followed by a stay-at-home order that only allowed once-daily outings for limited reasons, including essential shopping and visiting doctors, and a night-time curfew.