The Eastern Mediterranean island Republic of Cyprus has vowed to cover the holiday costs for any individual that tests positive for COVID-19 after travelling there.
In a letter signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Transport, and Deputy Minister of Tourism, the government agreed to pay for accommodation, medication, and food for patients and their families.
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“The traveller will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight, in collaboration with their agent and/or airline,” the letter explains.
Cyprus has also implemented a 100-bed hospital that was made exclusively for travellers that test positive for the virus. If visitors show “critical symptoms,” an extra 112 intensive care units are available for treatment, with 200 respirators “on hand at any time” for use.
The country also has 500 rooms in what they call “dedicated quarantine-hotels” that are readily available for families and close contacts of anyone who tests positive.
“This will not only ensure that they are properly taken care of, but it will also provide peace of mind to other travellers, that their accommodation establishment is free of COVID-19,” the letter states.
Should any given accommodation host an individual that tests positive, instead of having to issue a 14-day quarantine, the room with the infected individual, and anyone who came in close contact with them, will instead be issued a “deep clean and disinfection” before being used again.
Cyprus will begin welcoming travellers from multiple countries back starting in June. According to Visit Cyprus, the qualifying countries have been divided into two categories, Category A and Category B.
The letter details that the categories were determined based on “internationally available epidemiological data.”
Starting June 20, individuals flying from Category A countries will not face any restrictions when travelling to Cyprus. However, those travelling from Category countries will be required to have a PCR test done at their point of origin 72 hours before travelling and should present their results upon arrival at border control.
Individuals whose countries do not make PCR testing widely available must participate in compulsory testing upon arrival and pay a fee of €60 (CAD $90.85) per person. The results are available up to 24 hours later, so travellers will be requested to self-isolate at their respective accommodation while they wait.
If you wish to travel to Cyprus, but your country of origin is not listed in Category A or B, it is only permitted in “exceptional circumstances” and must receive prior approval by the Cyprus government.
Note: As border closures and travel restrictions begin to lift, health authorities are reminding individuals to monitor themselves for any signs of COVID-19. If you are feeling unwell, it is recommended you stay at home. If you do decide to travel, follow the health and safety precautions and protocols outlined by the departure and arrival locations you will be travelling to/from.