20-odd airlines to resume flights to and from Cyprus
About 20 airlines have included Cyprus in their updated flight schedules, an official of the Cypriot airport operator Hermes Airports said on Thursday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Maria Kouroupi, Press and Marketing Director of Hermes Airports which operates Larnaca and Paphos airports, said that a few flights will resume as of Tuesday, mostly between Cyprus and Greek airports.
She said more flights will start as of June 20, when travelers from 13 countries will be accepted in Cyprus without being required to present a COVID-19 health certificate.
These countries are Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania.
People from six other countries (Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic) will be allowed entry but only after presenting a negative COVID-19 test certificate.
Transport, Telecommunications and Works Minister Yiannis Karousos also confirmed the resumption of flights.
"Tourists should be expected in large numbers as of July," he said.
Travelers from the United Kingdom, the biggest tourism market for Cyprus, are still out of bounds, but Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios said the situation may change in the next few weeks.
He said countries from where travelers will be accepted are being evaluated once a week.
"As the epidemiological situation of the UK and other countries improves, there is every chance they will be able to be included in Category B or Category A that are allowed to fly to the island ... I do feel it is a matter of weeks," he said.
Tourists from Category A countries will be allowed to enter freely as of June 20, but a health certificate will be mandatory for all other travelers.
In a bid to assure tourists, the Cypriot Health Ministry said that a hotel has been reserved for free stay and treatment of people who will develop the coronavirus disease after arriving on the island.
"We wanted to create this package so people won't feel afraid as to what will happen to them and worry about the cost in case they become sick," Perdios said.
Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides told state radio on Thursday that after the lifting of travel restrictions, Cyprus can start making economic projections in terms of expansion.