Cyprus Conditions on Greek Travelers Perplexes Greek Tourism Chief

Αssociated Press

Greek Minister of Tourism, Harry Theoharis speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office in Athens, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS - Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis said he's puzzled why Cyprus added another layer of measures for Greeks to follow if they want to travel there, both countries having good records in dealing with COVID-19.

He said he can't figure out why Cyprus decided to downgrade Greece in its three-tier risk system grouping countries based on their epidemiological data, and wants it sorted out as both need tourists to offset economic losses.

“It is a decision that I do not understand, I consider it to be wrong, I do not know exactly what criteria it was based on,” Theoharis told radio station Parapolitika FM about the problem, said Kathimerini.

“I hope that there will be an understanding and an explanation between the epidemiologists of the two sides so that the position can be explained that our country is very safe and much safer than any other country,” he continued.

“I do not consider it logical and right for our country to be in category B,” which means Greeks 

Cyprus said there would be compulsory testing for all arrivals from Greece from Aug. 6, after a spike in coronavirus infections in Greece over the past week.

The health ministry said any travelers from Greece would be required to show a negative test conducted within 72 hours of travel to Cyprus. 

Cyprus' Health Ministry said visitors from Greece would be required to show a negative test result that was taken within 72 hours of travel to Cyprus while. Cypriots and permanent residents of Cyprus could opt for a test at airports upon their arrival, the news agency Reuters said.

All passengers arriving from Greece, will have to present a negative coronavirus test certificate and could be picked for some random testing.

Cyprus has a three-tier risk system in grouping countries where travel is either unrestricted, allowed with a satisfactory test result and a compulsory 14 day quarantine.