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Update – 27/05/2020

  • There were no new Covid-19 cases in Cyprus on Wednesday the Health Ministry said, only the second time of zero cases since the start of the outbreak here on March 9. The first time Cyprus had recorded no new coronavirus cases was on Saturday.
  • The new financial stimulus package, to be unveiled on Wednesday in response to the impact of the pandemic on the economy, is in line with the government’s capacity and is compatible with the European framework, Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said, ahead of a Cabinet meeting, later this afternoon. Decisions will be announced during a televised address by the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, immediately after. Speaking to CNA, Sentonas said that various segments comprise the new set of measures, that have to do with the liquidity of businesses, providing further support to Cypriot businesses, employees and the economy in general. This is a new package of measures, in addition to the measures adopted by the government so far, Sentonas said. He added that more than 60 support measures have been implemented or are about to be implemented, with their cost estimated at around €1.2 bln. Safeguarding jobs and supporting employment and the business sector are the priorities shaping government designs, Sentonas concluded. The Council of Ministers is scheduled to convene at 19.00 (local time) this evening, while President Anastasiades will make a televised address after the meeting, to announce the new measures to support employees and the economy.
  • Cyprus government has sent to its tourism partners abroad a letter concerning the protocols that will allow the country to safely re-open for tourists and avoid the need for quarantining of visitors, signed by Foreign Minister Nikos Chirstodoulides, Minister of Transport Yiannis Karousos and Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios. The letter also refers to an inspection mechanism that has been established, to ensure strict compliance of everyone involved in the tourism industry. The partners abroad are invited to choose Cyprus as a destination and special mention is made of the timely measures taken to effectively reduce the spread of the pandemic, which has resulted in the country being able to reopen its tourist accommodation from June 1, as well as its airports from June 9. The letter includes a question and answers section clarifying all the points concerning the reopening of Cyprus as a destination. All relevant information should also be made available on the website www.visitcyprus.com/cyprus-covid19-travel -protocol.
  • Paphos is the most booked destination for British holidaymakers in April and May next year, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday citing data collected by TravelSupermarket. Costa Blanca and Orlando came in second and third respectively. It said that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, April and May 2021 have become the most popular months for Britons to book overseas package holidays. According to the Daily Mail, the rest of the top 10 most booked destinations list comprises Tenerife (fourth), New York (fifth), the resorts around Antalya in Turkey (sixth), the resorts around Dalaman in Turkey (seventh), Dominican Republic (eighth), Ibiza (ninth) and Majorca (10th). The holiday price comparison site also revealed that October 2020 is the most popular future departure month for package holiday searches, followed by September 2020, December 2020 and then May and April 2021.
  • Paphos hoteliers have still not decided when and which hotels to operate as they still do not have a full picture, the president of the Paphos Hotels Association Thanos Michaelides told CNA. He said hoteliers wanted to reopen, but this “very big decision” had still not been taken. As the UK and Russia which are Paphos’ two main markets are not included in category 2 of the list of countries whose tourists can visit, it will be a slow start for Paphos’ tourism sector, Michaelides said. And it will be several weeks before there are satisfactory occupancy, and until that happens hoteliers will just be piling up more losses, he added. Michaelides was not in a position to say when and how many hotels would open, but expressed the hope that when there is more information regarding which airlines would be flying to Cyprus, hoteliers would have a better picture and be able to start promotional campaigns in promising markets. “I hope we can open a range of hotels so that we can have three, four star, tourist villages and so on available on the market,” he said.

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