Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Friday that based on the current epidemiological situation, the UK will be incorporated in Category B of travellers to Cyprus as of August 1, given that its positive epidemiological situation is maintained.
Speaking to journalists during a joint press conference with Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios following a morning meeting with the team of experts at the Presidential Palace, the Health Minister also said that Russia will remain in Category C.
He added that all health protocols will be reviewed and recommendations will be submitted by this coming Wednesday by experts for their amendment as needed.
Ioannou also mentioned that Dr Leontios Kostrikis recommended a method for testing at the airports already being followed by some other countries to increase testing capability five-fold without additional cost.
He noted that they would talk with the labs to make it happen without extra cost, by grouping samples together, adding that by using this method 1500 tests could be carried out every day. If the test is positive, then individual tests would be conducted.
Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios said that “as of August 1 all countries in Category B, including the UK, will have to take the Coronavirus test in their country in advance, which means that in Cyprus no tests will be done to visitors from Category B countries. Any samples taken in Cyprus will be for random testing.”
The Health Minister clarified that Category B passengers will be able to take the Covid test at Cyprus’ airports only if they are Cypriot citizens or permanent residents.
Asked if the responsibility for checking if the passengers have a negative Covid test certificate lies with the airlines, Ioannou said that the certificate is submitted with the application via Cyprus Flight Pass and that airlines also check this before disembarkation.
Asked about the situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Ioannou said it was also discussed during the meeting. He went on to say that Turkey was not included in the 15 countries approved by the EU for tourist travel, so nothing would change as regards the crossing points.
Responding to a question, Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said that there is interest from tourists from the UK who want to visit Cyprus.
He also noted that people from Israel and Russia visit Cyprus throughout the whole year, so when their epidemiological profiles improve there will be prospects for tourists from these countries to visit Cyprus.
Epidemiologist George Nikolopoulos said that Cyprus’ epidemiological profile is at a very good level.
Referring to the UK he said that its profile is good and therefore it could be included in category B as of August 1.
On his part, Professor of Microbiology Petros Karayiannis said that President Anastasiades was concerned about the opening of the UK market and after their discussion and the presentation of the country’s profile the decision was taken for August 1.