Cyprus is expected to notify the Russian authorities that it will open its airports for Russian tourists, Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios has said.
Αs of April 1, Cyprus will open its airports for travellers on the basis of the ECDC country categorization which classifies countries into green, orange and red categories. Under the protocol no quarantine is required while travelers will be requested to present one or two negative Covid tests according to the classification of their country.
Cyprus has already announced that it will open its borders for vaccinated travelers from Israel as of April 1st and as of May 1st from the UK.
Speaking to an online conference titled Cyprus Hospitality Industry 2021: “Restarting Roadmap,” Perdios said the Cyprus Finance Ministry is preparing a note verbal, notifying the Russian authorities that Cyprus will open for the Russian tourist market. “It is a matter of time and the Russian side would like to be sure that we will open and welcome them”, Perdios said, noting that this move is believed to enable scheduled and chartered flights to Cyprus. Russia is Cyprus’ second largest tourist market following the UK, while Israel follows in the third spot.
“Last year we did not allow flights from Russia and it is natural for us to make the first step,” he added.
On his part, Minister for Transport, Communications and Works Yiannis Karoussos said Russian travel agents and airlines want to make sure that Cyprus will open for Russian tourists, noting that this would enable the conduct of chartered flights from Russia.
Charis Loizides, President of Cyprus Hoteliers Association said they are in contact with the Foreign Ministry over a possible bilateral agreement with the Russian Federation that would enable the commencement of flights to and from Russia.
Such a development, he added, would be very important for the recovery of the tourist industry which took the heaviest blow from the coronavirus pandemic last year, he said.