The pandemic has taken its toll on the maritime sector as foreign yacht owners are not able to dock their boats at Cyprus marinas due to restrictions on arrivals from high-risk COVID countries.
“The effects of the coronavirus pandemic has also damaged Cyprus’ image as a marine destination. Potential customers of the marina are from Israel, Lebanon and Egypt, which due to a change in their (COVID) categorization, can no longer dock at the marina,” Ayia Napa Marina manager, Costas Fytiris told the Cyprus News Agency.
Cyprus implements a three-category system (A, B, C) with entry to Cyprus from category C countries permitted only for Cypriots, residents, and people with a special permit.
People arriving from these countries need to carry a coronavirus negative test, undergo another test upon arrival and then self-isolate for 14 days.
Arrivals from category C countries need to repeat the test (at own expense) 48 hours before ending their 14-day self-isolation.
Visitors from the 7 classified Category A countries are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test, while arrivals from category B countries are allowed in with proof of a negative coronavirus test carried out 72 before boarding their plane, or boat for Cyprus.
Fytiris argued that Cyprus has invested a lot in establishing itself as a high-standard yachting destination, where it can “offer high-quality services to attract foreign investors or to come with their boats and spend some time on the island.”
“We have strived to make Ayia Napa Marina a smart marina, going the extra mile, providing several services that many neighbouring states cannot offer.”
“We have had a lot of requests for mooring boats and as soon as the coronavirus pandemic is over, we expect a flow of customers from neighbouring countries.
There are boats from Israel and Lebanon, docked at the marina, whose owners managed to reach Cyprus before the pandemic started or before the specific countries changed category.”
Fytiris said that traffic for the remainder of the year will be linked to the course of the coronavirus outbreak.
He said the Ayia Napa Marina mixed-development project has entered its second phase which includes the conduction of the commercial side.
The first stage included berth facilities for 600 yachts (in wet and dry storage), where yachts up to 85 metres in length can be accommodated.
This second part of the project covers more than 4000 square metres with provision for restaurants and cafes, retail shops, and parking capacity for over 550 vehicles.
The third stage, construction of two 100-metre towers housing 220 apartments will be completed by early 2023.
Billionaire Egyptian investor Naguib Sawiris in 2017 launched the €300 mln project in partnership with Cypriot entrepreneur Caramondanis.
The project, developed by ΜΜ Makronisos Marina and contracted to Terna AE of Greece, includes commercial and residential property of 30,000 sqm, employing 800 people during the construction phase, hiring a further 200 people for its operation.