Cyprus and Greece start opening up to tourism

Cyprus and Greece start opening up to tourism

Cyprus and Greece have announced this week that they will start opening up to tourism, as both countries gradually lift restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus (https://www.ekathimerini.com/252871/article/ekathimerini/business/cyprus-will-open-its-airports-again-on-june-9) (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/05/21/greece-to-allow-international-flights-to-tourist-destinations-from-july-1/)

More specifically, Cyprus announced that the airports will be opened in two phases, following a decision of the Council of Ministers, on 22nd May 2020. The first phase will be between 9th June and 19th June, and the second phase will be from 20th June (https://www.philenews.com/koinonia/eidiseis/article/942597/live-9-6-anoigyn-ta-aerodromia-1-6-ta-xenodocheia).

The countries from which Cyprus will receive flights have been categorized according to their epidemiological data. As for the hotels, they will open on 1st June.

The first category entails Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania. The second category includes Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

Additionally, it was decided that in the first phase – from 9th June until 19th June, for those who come from both categories of countries, it will be necessary to present a laboratory test certificate for coronavirus with a negative result. The inspection should have been carried out within 72 hours before departure. Cypriot citizens will be able to check when they arrive in Cyprus. In this case and until the result, they will remain in self-isolation.

Regarding the second phase, for countries included in the first category of countries, it will not be necessary to present a laboratory test certificate. On the contrary, from the countries of the second category, what was allowed in the first phase will apply. That is, it will be necessary to present a laboratory test certificate. Cypriot citizens will have the opportunity to check upon their arrival in Cyprus.

Also, for those countries that are not included in the above lists of countries, flights to the Republic of Cyprus will be allowed, only for passengers who are Cypriot citizens and for those who have a special permit. It will be necessary to present a laboratory test certificate. Alternatively, the check will be possible upon arrival in Cyprus, but in this case they will be quarantined in a place designated by the Republic of Cyprus.

In relation to Greece, Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced that international flights will be able to head directly to tourist destinations from 1st July, while its long-awaited tourist season will begin on 15th June (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/05/21/greece-to-allow-international-flights-to-tourist-destinations-from-july-1/).

He stated that visitors would be subject to sample coronavirus testing and “our general health protocols will be adhered to, without them, however, overshadowing our bright sun or the natural beauties of Greece”.

Tourism Minister, Mr. Harry Theocharis stated that a list of nations resuming flights to Greece would be announced by the end of May, noting that Athens would focus on reviving a travel front “from the Balkans to the Baltic”. The selection will be based on “epidemiological criteria” as determined by Greece’s committee of experts dealing with the pandemic (https://www.thenationalherald.com/greece_economy/arthro/greece_reopening_to_selected_tourists_starting_june_15-331086/).

He continued and announced that Bulgarians and northern Europeans including Germans will be among the first visitors, in addition to Israelis and Cypriots.

Also, incoming travelers will not be required to undergo virus testing or quarantine, but sample tests will be carried out in tourist areas, the minister said.