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COVID-19 Choking Cypriot Economy, March Tourism Falls 73.5%

Αssociated press

A woman wearing a mask to protect against coronavirus walks on Ledra street a main shopping street in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Still hoping to salvage some kind of a summer season as the COVID-19 Coronavirus lockdown winds down, tourism on Cyprus fell 73.5 percent and raised fears the economy could see a near devastating loss this year.

The airport shut down and as of March 15 entry was only allowed for Cyprus residents while tourists were banned, as part of the measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus and commercial flights stopped March 21, still in effect.

March tourism was 25.6 million euros ($27.8 million) compared to 96.6 million ($105.31 million) in March, 2019, The Financial Mirror reported, while for the first quarter overall it was 115.3 million euros ($125.7 million) compared to 188.6 million euros ($205.43 million) the previous annual period.

Cyprus and Greece are among the European Union countries with the highest probability of taking an economic hit because of their dependence on tourism that brings in the most revenue of any sector.

With no indication whether international air traffic will resume in force, the government still wants to lure visitors from its biggest markets, especially the former Colonial ruler the United Kingdom, which has been savaged by the disease and its aftermath.