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Pandemic Ongoing, But Cyprus Lifts Restrictions to Draw Tourists

NICOSIA — It’s not over ’til it’s over but it looks like it’s over on Cyprus where the government has essentially ending COVID-19 health measures to lure to tourists for a recovery although the pandemic is continuing.

All COVID measures and travel restrictions at the ports and airports will be lifted June 1, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said after a Cabinet meeting of President Nicos Anastasiades’ government.

Masks won’t be required indoors anymore, said Kathimerini of the turn toward pushing an economic comeback even during the lingering health crisis, and travelers – regardless of where they are from – won’t need to show a vaccine certificate, negative PCR or rapid test or proof of recovery.

Karousos said the decision meant a return to normality and noted that flight demand is high for seats although Russian airlines and tourists are being kept out under European Union sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

He said that passenger traffic in May was 77 percent that of the record year of 2019 before COVID struck early in 2020 and essentially shut down international air travel and tourism.
“Of course, efforts are under way to increase this rate and capacity even more and the results are fairly positive. We will not only reach but surpass the target we had set as regards flight capacity and the number of passengers,” he added.

The government’s Scientific Advisory Committee stated that epidemiological indicators had been stable, leading to a downturn in cases and hospitalizations and that it was safe to ease restrictions, the report said.

As of June 1, citizens are no longer required to use a protective mask indoors or outdoors, excluding high-risk areas such as hospitals, nursing homes, closed structures housing vulnerable groups, healthcare facilities (outpatient clinics, medical centers, rehabilitation centers) and public transport.

Patients at public and private hospitals will be allowed two visitors per day (only one at a time) as long as they can present a 24-hour rapid test or 48-hour PCR test although the number of visitors may be increased in extremely urgent cases with approval from hospital management, it was said.

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