Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos (left) and Shipping Deputy Minister Vassilis Demetriades

COVID19: Vaccinated cruise passengers get free entry

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Cyprus is ready to welcome the first cruise passengers from June on the basis of health protocols announced on Friday by Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos and Deputy Shipping Minister Vasilis Demetriades.

As of June, Cyprus will begin welcoming the first cruise passengers from Israel, initially at Limassol port, while in July the two companies that chose the port of Limassol as their base will also begin their cruises.

Karousos told a press briefing that the protocol is quite similar to that implemented in the airports, but noted that there are some special regulations, since passengers are divided into two categories, those arriving by cruise ships for short stays, as well as crew and long-stay passengers.

He said that passengers need a negative rapid test result valid for 24 hours to be allowed to disembark, while those who have been vaccinated do not need a test.

“However, the health ministry may, if necessary conduct random tests on any passenger, regardless of they have earlier tests or have been vaccinated,” Karousos said.

He added that those passengers arriving in Cyprus ports as their final destination need to comply with the colour-coded allowance and testing regulations based on country of departure.

Demetriades said that in addition to permitting crew to disembark for a few hours, Cyprus has been at the forefront from the start of the pandemic to facilitate crew change and repatriation for some 12,000 seafarers.

The Commercial Director of DP World Limassol, operator of the port, said preparations have been underway to safely receive cruise passengers in the coming weeks, strictly observing all strict instructions laid down by the competent authorities.