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Economy

Paphos Hotels On Cyprus Depend on UK Tourists Post COVID-19 Return

Although the COVID-19 Coronavirus is still tearing through the United Kingdom, which was late bringing a lockdown, the survival of some hotels in the Cypriot coastal city of Paphos could depend on tourists from the United Kingdom coming this summer. 

That was the bleak assessment of Euripides Loizides, who owns the Mayfair Hotel there ans is the head of the Paphos Hoteliers Association, who told the Cyprus Mail that the government should find some to accommodate British tourists – if they’re allowed to come.

His hotel has been used as a quarantine facility for the mandatory 14-day detention of  repatriation arrivals and he said that a “quick” COVID-19 test, which takes an hour to complete, should be utilised to ensure safe travel.

This way, even arrivals from the UK which currently has a high infection and death rate from Covid-19 could be permitted.

“Paphos is reliant on tourism, especially the British market, so what’s the answer? I believe it’s the quick test. The cost could be borne a three-way split; one-third by the travel company/ airline, one-third by the passenger and one-third by the hotel,” he said.

Cyprus, heavily reliant on tourism, is looking to key markets that also include Greece, Israel and Germany to salvage some kind of summer season but it’s those from the UK – the island’s former Colonial ruler – that are the most important, he said.

Cyprus is currently looking to markets such as Greece, Israel and Germany, although the 

“The government needs to decide what they are going to do. We have to ensure that visitors are safe on arrival and we must protect them during their stay, and we will by following all of the hygiene protocols,” he said.

He also recommended that passengers should be tested at the airport before boarding a flight to ensure they are safe when they land, where they could be tested again to further guarantee there are no health risks.

Hotel staff will wear masks and gloves, and customer’s rooms would be fully disinfected before arrival through a special mixture of recommended chemicals, which when left for four hours, ensure 100 percent protection, he said.

Guests entering hotel restaurants would have their temperature taken before they enter, every day. Serving food will also be carried out very carefully and customers will not be permitted to touch anything.

“Even if it’s a buffet, they can’t touch and they will have to wear masks and gloves to ensure no coughing or sneezing over food. Our staff will serve them,” he said

Outdoor dining would have a 3-meter (9.84-feet) distance between tables, no visitors will be allowed and the property will only be accessible to guests and staff. No sales teams will be allowed to enter, he said.

Pools are considered safe, due to the chlorine content, and lifeguards will limit the number of people in the pool at one time, he said. Sunbeds will be sanitized every afternoon, no one will be allowed to use one which hasn’t been disinfected between users, neither will they be able to reserve a sun lounger, he also said.

“Using all of these protocols, it is highly unlikely that anyone can become infected and it would only be for the next two to three months, as there is not yet any medication to combat this infection. This will all come with a high expense to hotels, but what can we do?”

While hotels are due to reopen on June 9, along with beaches and airports, Loizides said that it is more realistic that hotels will open in early July. He added a dire warning: “Decisions need to be made soon or the hotel industry could die.”

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