COVID19: Cyprus hotels ready to welcome Cypriots

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Cyprus hoteliers welcome the government’s decision to ease the lockdown next Monday by allowing Cypriots to book hotel stays on the island with their COVID pass.

Cyprus Hotel Association Director-General, Philokypros Roussounides, said the introduction of the so-called Coronapass for Cypriots who choose to spend their vacation in local hotels is a positive development.

He said it creates a secure environment in which the hotel industry can operate again.

The Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Stek), in a written statement, also said they are pleased that from 10 May, Cypriots will be allowed to stay in hotels.

In statements to CNA, Roussounides expressed optimism the tourism industry, a major pillar of the economy, will open for business again.

Hotels suggested some weeks ago the opening of hotels for Cypriots with a green pass, as has been the case in France for domestic tourism.

Roussounides said few bookings are due to the restrictive measures and the lockdown, and the epidemiological situation.

“We hope that during the next weeks’ bookings will significantly increase as the epidemiological situation improves and vaccinations will continue, and by the beginning of July, we will be able to host a significant number of foreign tourists.”

Roussounides said they expect bookings from the traditional markets such as the UK, Russia and Israel, and the Scandinavian countries.

Germany and Belgium are also among the main markets from where tourists are expected.

The UK, Israel and Russia, pre-pandemic, contributed more than half of the island’s annual four million tourists.

Stek believes the coming weeks will be decisive for the tourism sector that lost 85% of its income last year, with May and June not expected to see normal flows of tourist arrivals.

A Coronapass needed for people to be allowed into hospitality venues, churches, gyms, shops, and other places will be introduced from Monday when the third national lockdown ends.

The Coronapass entails either having negative PCR/rapid test for Covid within 72-hours, having received at least one dose of a vaccine three weeks earlier or having contracted the virus in the past six months.