COVID19: Cyprus evacuating hotels before shutdown

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Guests are being slowly cleared from hotels following a Cyprus government coronavirus decree ordering that all hotels suspend their services from 21 March for six weeks.

Hotel associations PASYXE and STEK told CNA gradual closures are continuing smoothly.

PASYXE General Manager Zacharias Ioannides said the process of evacuating the hotels is continuing based on the number of customers each hotel is accommodating in order to abide by a decree issued by the government ordering all hotels suspend operations by March 21.

The evacuation process is done in such a way so that customers staying in the hotels are not affected until their return home is arranged while at the same time keeping in line with hygiene regulations.

STEK President Akis Vavlitis told CNA that the process of evacuating hotels and repatriating the small number of customers is going smoothly.

Referring to hotel staff, he said that the small number of staff will be suspended from work.

Vavlitis also expressed concern about what will happen after May, whether hotels will open and whether there will be tourist arrivals.

“Everything will depend on coronavirus outbreak developments in the countries where tourists come from such as England, Germany, Scandinavia and in what state these economies will be in.”

He said banks should help all Cypriot businesses and especially those operating in the tourism sector.

“We are requesting that interest rates on loans should not be paid for a period of one year and that their repayment is extended by one year.”

Vavlitis said that banks should reduce lending rates enough to cover their operating costs but not make a profit and wondered why should one sector make a profit when others record losses.