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Beach chairs at the popular Cypriot resort town of Ayia Napa (Image: Lehtikuva)

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THE GOVERNMENT OF CYPRUS HAS REVEALED plans to open up the country to leisure travelers from Finland without restriction from tomorrow.

In a letter sent to the Helsinki Times from the Cypriot Embassy in Helsinki, the Ambassador to Finland Georgios Zodiatis highlighted the success of Cyprus and Finland in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.

In explaining the rationale for opening up the country to Finnish tourism, the Ambassador remarked that “both Cyprus and Finland… had to take harsh measures to combat the pandemic – thanks to these measures and to the behavior of our populations we are now successfully and gradually getting back on track again”.

Cyprus has won praise for its own pandemic strategy, recording only 18 deaths out of a population of 1.17 million people. The country also boasts some of the highest ICU-to-population ratios in the region. In addition, the country has also pledged to cover the travel and accommodation costs of any tourists who fall ill with COVID-19 during their stay in Cyprus.

Finland is among a host of other countries that will be permitted to travel to Cyprus for tourism purposes this summer, with the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs selecting source countries based largely on the success of their coronavirus containment efforts. Since Finland’s coronavirus reproduction rate, or R-value, is below 1 per 100,000 people, residents of Finland are eligible for travel without the need to enter quarantine upon arrival.

That is not to say, however, that things will return completely to normal. All travelers will have to fill out a COVID-19 ‘Traveler Declaration’ form online prior to arrival in Cyprus, in which they will have to provide details of their travels in the 14 days prior to their scheduled trip. Masks will be compulsory on all flights into Cyprus, and anyone showing symptoms of the virus will not be permitted to enter Cyprus.

In addition, all travelers to Cyprus currently have to undergo a PCR test in the source country prior to arrival. However, from 20 June, travelers from Finland will not be required to take a test for the virus.

The Cypriot Embassy in Helsinki has said that the current guidelines will “remain under constant review”, and that the guiding principle is “to ensure the health and safety of both the people of Cyprus and of all travelers that would decide to visit our country”. 

As of June 2020, a number of other European countries, including Estonia and Germany, now allow for Finnish residents to arrive without having to enter any form of quarantine.

 

Adam Oliver Smith – HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva

 

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