Cyprus has put forward a contingency plan to cover medical costs if tourists fall ill with Covid-19 as part of efforts to encourage the return of holidaymakers.
Dedicated quarantine hotels would be set up with the government covering the cost of accommodation, food, drink and medicine.
The initiative aims to ensure any cases of the virus are swiftly isolated when international travel to the island resumes in June after almost three months of lockdown.
A 100-bed hospital will cater exclusively to travellers who test positive and around 112 intensive care units fitted with 200 respirators will be reserved for the sickest patients.
A 500-room ‘quarantine hotel’ will also be available for patients´ family members.
The pledge was made in a letter issued to governments, airlines and tour operators on Tuesday, MailOnline reported.
It outlined strict health protocols as the government attempts to attract holidaymakers back after a compulsory two-week quarantine for those entering the country came to an end on Monday.
The letter, signed by Cyprus´foreign affairs, transport and tourism ministers, boasts that the island has one of the lowest coronavirus ratios per head in Europe after having tested more than 10% of its population.
Cyprus has emerged relatively unscathed by the pandemic, reporting less than 950 cases, and 17 deaths.
International air travel to Cyprus will resume on June 9 from 19 countries, with all passengers made to undergo a coronavirus test three days before departure.
That measure will be lifted on June 20 for 13 countries including Germany, Finland, Israel, Greece and Norway.
Passengers will be made to present their test certificate before flying and may have to wear masks throughout the flight.
Cyprus expects to be able to re-admit British and Russian tourists by July.
Deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said: “The hit is massive, and we are trying to do our best now and do what we can for the remainder of the season.
“We have worked extremely hard to keep the virus in check here.
“For our important markets like the UK, Russia and Sweden, I expect in early July the situation (there) will allow their travel to Cyprus. I am quite optimistic about that,”
The UK and Russia alone represent 55% of arrivals.
“We have taken a lot of measures…but at the same time we do understand that people want to come here on holiday so we haven’t converted Cyprus into a massive hospital,” Perdios added.
With five months of the season lost, Cyprus expects about 30% of last year’s total of 3.98 million visitors.
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