In a bid to lure more tourists to its island nation, officials in Cyprus say they will pay the medical bill for anyone who contracts the coronavirus while visiting the country.
The plan was outlined in a letter to tour operators and airlines detailing the measures Cyprus is taking to ensure the safety of its tourism sector, according to The Guardian.
The island says its decision to pick up the tab for infected tourists – providing free healthcare for Covid-19 patients and all hotel expenses for their dependents – will give it an unbeatable edge.
Savvas Perdios, the deputy tourism minister, said: “We will cover the cost of hospitalisation of those who test positive during their holiday. And pay for their families and close contacts to be accommodated in quarantine hotels.”
Perdios emphasized that its safety – 939 positive cases and only 17 deaths – will be heavily marketed. And if a tourist does contract the virus, they “will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight,” according to Cyprus officials.
Cyprus plans to reopen its airports on June 9 to arrivals from 13 countries considered low risk, including Israel, Greece, Germany, Austria and Malta. Cyprus’ two biggest markets, Britain and Russia, are not on the approved list of travel.
The country will update the list of approved nations weekly. Officials will administer temperature checks and free random testing of arrivals.
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