Cyprus’ Minister of Health is expected to recommend that the government should reopen the country on May 10, the Cyprus Mail reported on Wednesday.
This would be an important step for the island nation that is reliant on tourism for a significant portion of its economy. According to the New York based data company Knoema, tourism made up 22.7 percent of its economy in 2019, the year before the COVID 19 pandemic raced across the globe.
Cyprus’ government previously announced a two week long lockdown on April 26 to prevent the spread of the virus. Prior to this decision, Cyprus experienced a record daily high of 941 cases on April 20.
In the week between April 28 to May 5, Cyprus recorded 23 coronavirus-related deaths and 255 hospitalizations.
However, total cases have dropped since the end of April and there have been signs that the country will reopen as planned on May 10. On Monday, Health Ministry spokeswoman Margarita Kyriacou said that the Ministry of Health was in the process of clarifying what measures needed to be taken for the country to safely reopen.
Cyprus to reopen to visitors from 65 countries
Currently, Cyprus plans to allow entry to citizens from 65 countries who can show that they have been fully vaccinated.
Under its current plans, visitors who received a vaccine approved by the European Medicine Agency, the European Union’s main regulator, or Russia’s Sputnik V would be eligible to enter the country with no quarantine requirement. Russian tourists comprise the largest segment of tourists in Cyprus after those from the United Kingdom. The countries of origin approved by Cyprus for entry include the United States, UK, Russia, and Israel, among others.
Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios told Reuters last week that they hope to especially boost demand from the UK. However, Perdios conceded that a rebound in Britons taking their vacations on Cyprus would depend on whether or not the expected UK travel guidelines will give the island a positive rating.
To help its citizens travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government uses a color coded system for labeling which countries it considers safe for travel.
Liz Truzz, the UK’s Cabinet Minister for international trade, said that the document would be delivered on Thursday or Friday. The expected list, however, is expected to include fewer than 10 countries in the entire EU.