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COVID19: Cyprus to reveal tourism plan for airports, hotels

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Cyprus is to unveil a tourism roadmap for reopening airports and hotels this summer after President Nicos Anastasiades meets his cabinet on Friday.

The news comes after President Anastasiades met his scientific team of advisers on the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, in the presence of Health, Transport, Finance, Labour, Foreign Affairs and Justice Ministers.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, acting government spokesperson Panayiotis Sentonas confirmed that experts gave their recommendations for reopening airports based on the epidemiological data.

“The focus of the meeting was the action plan of the government for the gradual lifting of the restrictive measures on flights to Larnaca and Paphos Airports,” Sentonas said.

Also discussed was the plan and the timeline for the reopening of hotels, he added.

“The President had heard scientists give their take on the stages of reopening airports, the way each destination is to be evaluated and how countries will be categorized, the criteria and conditions for each category as well as health protocols to be applied at airports”.

“Decisions on the action plan for the reopening of the airports and hotels will be taken by the cabinet on Friday,” Sentonas said.

Citing government sources, state radio CyBC said the president has asked scientists to present him with the epidemiological data for a list of 20 countries.

Sources said there was considerable discussion on whether visitors should be required to undergo a COVID-19 test before departing or upon arrival in Cyprus.

It was also discussed whether tourists should stay in quarantine for a few days.

Initially, the government announced that hotels and airports were part of phase 3 (June 9 – July 13) of the lockdown exit.

In earlier comments, state officials had said that the opening of the airports will be ‘gradual’ with the details to be fleshed out by a ministerial committee working with the epidemiological team to draft a roadmap.

Hotels and tour operators are awaiting news on the resumption of flights, as well as a list of countries with which air connectivity will be restored.