Cyprus airports will gradually begin to welcome flights and tourists from June 9 following three months of lockdown, Cypriot Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said Friday.
The decision was approved by cabinet ministers on Friday with the airports opening in two phases from June 9-19 and then June 20.
The island’s two largest tourist markets – Britain – which accounts for a third of all arrivals – and Russia are not on the initial list of countries allowed entry due to coronavirus not being sufficiently contained.
Cyprus hotels will also be allowed to open from June 1 as the tourism-dependent holiday island emerges from tight COVID-19 lockdown measures introduced in mid-March.
Scientists, based on the epidemiological data, have listed two categories of countries with which Cyprus will initially restore air connectivity.
Category A is Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania.
Category B: Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia, Czech Republic.
In the first phase of opening its airports, visitors will need to have tested negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of arriving in Cyprus with a certificate to prove it.
Cypriot residents can take the test upon arrival in Cyprus and will have to self-isolate until the result is known, said Karousos.
From June 20 people arriving from Category A countries will not need to present a health certificate for COVID-19.
But it will still be necessary to have taken a coronavirus test that is negative for the disease if arriving from Category B countries, said Karousos.
Karousos said commercial flights from countries not on the list will not be allowed unless they are repatriation flights for Cypriot residents returning.
Cypriots will need a health certificate showing they are free from coronavirus or they can be tested in Cyprus where they will be quarantined for a day in a government facility until the test result is known.
Costs for the test and quarantine will be at the passenger’s expense.
In countries where the authorities do not provide a lab test, coronavirus tests can be provided on arrival to Cyprus, said Karousos.
He said the Health Ministry will continue to evaluate the epidemiological data of other countries to update the list.
And from May 25 Cyprus will end compulsory quarantine for those entering the country and people will be allowed to self-isolate at home.
Cyprus issued a commercial flight ban on March 21 as part of lockdown measures.