News Local Experts reviewing list of 20 countries ahead of flight resumption decision

Experts reviewing list of 20 countries ahead of flight resumption decision

Experts are evaluating a list of 20 countries compiled by the deputy tourism ministry as potential markets this summer in view of a cabinet meeting tomorrow that will decide when to open the airports and under what conditions.

One of the members of the team of scientists told the Cyprus News Agency that the 20 countries will be grouped depending on whether entry to Cyprus will be conditional on passengers having tested for coronavirus or not.

The resumption of flights is part of phase 3 of the lockdown exit plan which starts on June 9, although the government has stressed that these will be in stages and under conditions.

Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios told an online Economist conference on tourism yesterday Cyprus will reopen its airports on June 9.

“We expect a full containment of the virus by the end of this week which means that on 9th June we will open our airports again for business as usual and that’s very very important,” Reuters quoted Perdios as saying.

The team of experts held a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades yesterday which focused on the opening of the airports and the hotels.

The epidemiological surveillance team of the Health Ministry is reviewing a list of 20 countries depending on the coronavirus situation in their countries.

Professor Petros Karayiannis, a member of the team of advisors, told CNA that depending on the epidemiological situation the countries will be grouped into those from which a coronavirus test will be required before entry and those for whom it will not be needed.

He said the decision will be announced by the government. And he cited comments made by Perdios of a list of 20 counties from which Cyprus can accept tourists. This list includes traditional and new markets, Karayiannis said.

“The epidemiological surveillance team has undertaken to evaluate the epidemiological situation of these countries. If some have the same or even better situation than us, we will accept tourists without the obligation of having to bring a certificate that they had done the coronavirus test and without quarantine. The same will apply to Cypriots who visit the same countries,” he said.

Some of the 20 countries will probably require the certificate. But he said tourists with certificates would not be required to be quarantined.

Referring to reports of consultations between Cyprus, Greece and Israel to facilitate tourism between them, he said this could be extended to other countries such as Malta, Austria and the Baltics.

Regarding the European south which has been badly affected by the pandemic, he said that they may have a better epidemiological picture within July that will allow tourism to and from Cyprus.

“The rate of cases and deaths is falling in Italy and Spain and will soon be at the same levels as when Germany opened businesses,” he said.

Asked how to safeguard against imported cases, he said that there will be thermal cameras at all airports so that people with temperature will be prevented from boarding. The same will apply to passengers leaving Cyprus.

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