Cyprus says quarantine hotels for families of coronavirus patients ‘will have a holiday vibe’ with nightly karaoke, shows and bingo – and that no one will need to sunbathe in a mask
- MailOnline Travel spoke to the island’s deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios
- He said quarantine hotels will have room service and nightly entertainment
- Mr Perdios said he was confident UK tourists will be able to visit from mid-July
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Cyprus is creating three quarantine hotels so family and friends of holidaymakers who test positive can isolate in comfort, its deputy tourism minister has confirmed.
The hotels, which come with room service, will be paid for by the government and entertainment will be held every night, which guests can enjoy from their balconies, including bingo, karaoke and performances.
The island’s deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios, also confirmed earlier reports that the government has set up a hospital exclusively for tourists who test positive for coronavirus while on holiday on the island.
Cyprus is creating three quarantine hotels so family and friends of holidaymakers who test positive can isolate in comfort, its deputy tourism minister has confirmed. Pictured is Limassol City
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘We have set up a dedicated hospital for people who test positive. The hotel has dedicated intensive care beds and ventilators and the government will cover all their medical expenses until they’re fit to fly home.
‘We will also have 500 rooms in quarantine hotels where family and friends of those who have tested positive can stay at the government’s expense.
‘They can order room service, meals and drinks, and will be provided with nightly entertainment including karaoke, shows and bingo so it will still feel like a holiday. The government will cover the cost of this. We don’t want visitors to end up paying double.’
The eastern Mediterranean island has spectacular scenery on the coast and inland
Mr Perdios said he was confident UK tourists would be able to visit the popular eastern Mediterranean island from mid-July.
‘We expect UK tourist to be able to visit by mid-July,’ he said. ‘August and September are looking very good for UK tourists. We are one of the warmest countries in the Med, so it’s hot here until Christmas.
‘Cyprus has amazing food, beautiful nature, amazing hospitality, and it has shown that it is capable of dealing with a crisis and has a very dependable health service. We have a higher ratio of intensive care beds than the average country in the EU and people are going to be looking at those statistics when deciding where to holiday this year.
‘We want people to feel confident when visiting and know that they will be looked after if they become ill.’
The harbour of Kyrenia on the north side of the island is popular with tourists
Hotels, bars and restaurants have reopened on the island with strict social distancing measures in place.
Airports reopened on Tuesday for tourists travelling from ‘Category A’ countries. These are countries that have managed the virus successfully, including Greece, Germany, Austria and Denmark – but all travellers will be tested in advance of their arrival.
From June 20, tourists from these countries will be able to visit without a test and Cyprus will also open up to ‘Category B’ countries, including Poland and Switzerland. Visitors from these countries will need to be tested in advance or on arrival.
Mr Perdios said they were reviewing the list of countries allowed to the island on a weekly basis.
He said Cyprus reacted swiftly to the coronavirus outbreak, which meant they kept it under control.
Kalamies Beach with the white-washed chapel of Agios Nikolaos on its far shore
‘We were actually one of the first EU countries to take strong measures,’ he said. ‘We closed airports, hotels, restaurants in March at a time when other EU countries weren’t taking it seriously.
‘We locked down for six weeks and anyone who wanted to leave their home to get food or medicine or to exercise had to send an SMS to the government to get permission.
‘This strong-handed approach has been a success. We have had the lowest ratios of cases per capita almost anywhere in Europe. We have tested 10 per cent of our population.
‘Cyprus will not look like a major hospital this summer. There will be social distancing in place, of course, and increased cleaning but visitors won’t have to book a sunbed or be forced to sunbathe in a mask. The service will be much better as there’ll be fewer people.’