Cyprus hotels, museums, libraries, and archaeological sites reopened to visitors on Monday after two months of lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Hoteliers welcome the lifting of restrictions on their operations and preparing to host foreign and local tourists.
In comments to the Financial Mirror, outgoing director-general of the Cyprus Hotels Association, Zacharias Ioannides, said 1 June will not see the majority of hotels opening their doors.
“It is, however, a significant date as hotels will now be able to go ahead with preparing their establishments for the rest of the season, during which they will have to operate under tight hygiene protocols,” said Ioannides.
He noted that while hotels are now allowed to resume business, there is more visibility as to what guests can expect.
“Hoteliers’ primary concern is to keep their staff and visiting tourists safe. We must do whatever possible to protect the hard work society has put in to stem the spread of the virus,” said Ioannides.
Hotels are also doing their best to promote offers for local tourists.
He said the catalogue of hotel offers for local tourists compiled by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism includes some “tempting offers” for Cypriots.
“Taking into consideration that hotels will be burdened with additional costs to comply with health protocols, offers out there can be considered attractive.”
Ioannides urged people wanting to book a holiday at a Cyprus hotel to call up the establishment beforehand, as, according to availability, hotels may be in a position to offer better deals.
Meanwhile, museums and archaeological sites also opened Monday for people to visit under social distancing rules.
In an effort to encourage Cypriots to make to discover ancient Cyprus, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos marked the reopening of sites and monuments with a tour around Limassol’s Kolossi Castle and the archaeological sites of Curium and Paphos.
“I would like to send the message that this year is a good opportunity for all of us to visit our archaeological sites, our museums and monuments, to stay in Cyprus and enjoy its beauty and its archaeological wealth,” Karousos told reporters.
He was inspecting firsthand the implementation of health protocols.
Check whether Cypriots are allowed in
After more restrictions were lifted under the lockdown exit plan, Cyprus is gearing up for phase three on 9 June, which will see airports opening up.
Cyprus is scheduled to open its airports to a select band of 13 countries that are considered low risk.
They include Israel, Greece, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Malta but the island’s two biggest markets Britain and Russia are not on the approved list.
All those arriving between June 9 -19 will need to provide a health certificate proving they are Covid-19 negative.
From June 20, there will be no need to provide a health certificate from the 13 countries, but another six countries will be added to the list including Switzerland and Poland.
Cypriots thinking of travelling abroad are advised to check on the health policies of their desired destinations to verify whether visitors from Cyprus are allowed entry.
“Each country will be following their own roadmap as to who they will open their borders to. Cyprus opening up its borders to a particular country does not necessarily mean the move will be reciprocal,” a Transport Ministry official told the Financial Mirror.
The third stage of relaxing measures will also see shopping malls and department stores reopen, while cafés and restaurants can use indoor facilities.
Open-air theatres and cinemas can reopen.
Epidemiologists are to reassess whether gyms and kindergartens will also be allowed to reopen on 9 June at a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday.