The Cyprus government has a message for potential visitors worried about the coronavirus. No, the island nation is not guaranteeing guests won’t contract the virus, but the government will cover expenses — like food, lodging and medicine — if a tourist tests positive for COVID-19.
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The country, which receives about 4 million tourists annually, rolled out the plan last month, NPR reports.
«The Cyprus government is committed to taking care of all travelers who test positive during their stay, as well as their families and close contacts,» the plan states. «The government will cover the cost of lodging, food, drink, and medication, in all cases mentioned above; the traveler will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight, in collaboration with their agent and/or airline.”
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Cyprus has been loosening restrictions since May and plans to ease international air travel bans beginning June 9, with airline restrictions lifted completely for some countries by June 20.
Those visiting the country will be divided into two categories, per the country’s plan, based on where they are traveling from. Those in Category A, beginning June 20, will face “no restrictions when traveling to Cyprus.” However, those in Category B will have to prove they do not have coronavirus by undergoing testing in their home country, 72 hours prior to travel.
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Cyprus has “one of the lowest ratios of coronavirus cases per capita in Europe,” the country boasts, and considers itself “in prime position to take care of our visitors too!”
The country has put into place enhanced health, safety and hygiene protocols at hotels, restaurants and other hospitality establishments. Though, if tourists still contract coronavirus during their visit, a “COVID-19 hospital with 100 beds will be made available.”