By Cailey Rizzo
May 27, 2020

Cyprus will cover all costs for travelers should they test positive for coronavirus while visiting the country.

Lodging, food, drink, and medicine for both visitors that contract coronavirus and their families will be covered by the Cypriot government, the Associated Press reported. Patients will only have to pay for their taxi ride to the airport and flight back home.

A foreigners-only hotel will be able to accommodate up to 100 COVID-19 patients and a “quarantine hotel” with 500 rooms will house patients’ family members or travel companions. The country also has 112 intensive care units with 200 respirators for critically-ill patients.

beachgoers at Mackenzie beach

The announcement came in a letter, obtained by the AP, from the island's foreign affairs authorities to governments, airlines, and tour operators as they prepare to reopen for summer tourism.

Cyprus plans to gradually reopen to commercial flights on June 9. Nineteen countries have been approved for tourism due to their low COVID-19 infection levels. On June 20, the island expects to extend its approval to another 13 countries including Germany Finland, Israel, Greece, and Norway.

Travelers will have to present a certification that they were tested for coronavirus before flying and will be subject to a thermal temperature check upon arrival. They must also fill out a “COVID-19 Traveler Declaration,” detailing their travels over the previous 14 days, confirming they have not experienced and coronavirus symptoms for 72 hours or been in contact with infected people. Visitors may also be subject to random temperature checks while in Cyprus at no cost to the traveler.

Tourism accounts for 13 percent of Cyprus’s economy and the majority of its visitors come from Britain and Russia however neither country is on the initial list of nationals who can visit. The list will expand as other countries recover from their outbreaks.

Cyprus ended a stay-at-home lockdown last week. During the lockdown, citizens could only go outside for exercise or essential trips, which needed to be approved by text message before they could leave home. The country also enforced a nightly curfew.

Earlier this week, Cyprus reopened its beaches as its new coronavirus daily count dropped down to zero for the first time, AFP reported via The Jakarta Post. The beaches had been swimming-only but now visitors are welcomed back on the socially-distanced sands. All employees at beachside restaurants are required to wear face masks and protective gloves.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Cyprus has a total of 939 cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths, since its outbreak.