Cyprus is ready to welcome the first cruise passengers on the basis of a health protocol that was announced on Friday during a press conference in the presence of Minister of Transport Yiannis Karousos and Deputy Minister of Shipping Vasilis Demetriades.
The health protocol was presented by a Ministry of Transport official at the terminal of the port of Limassol, which in June will begin welcoming the first cruise passengers from Israel, while in July the two companies that chose the port of Limassol as their base will begin their own cruises.
In statements to the press, Karousos said that the protocol has a lot in common with the one that is implemented in the airports, but noted that there are some special regulations, since passengers are divided into two categories, those arriving by cruise ships for short stays and passengers of cruise ships that are based in the port of Limassol.
The Minister pointed out that, those passengers who wish to enter the Republic of Cyprus for a short visit must undergo - with their own expenses or the expenses of the cruise organisers - an antigen rapid test up to 24 hours before disembarkation from the ship.
He added that passengers who are vaccinated and present a proof of their vaccination will not be required to undergo a laboratory test.
Regarding passengers who complete their cruise in the Republic of Cyprus, the Minister said that they should comply with the relevant decree and the provisions included in the category of the countries they visited.
He said that if the cruise destinations only include countries that are listed in the green category, passengers will be able to disembark without any restrictions. Karousos added that if the cruise destinations include countries that are listed in the orange or red categories, then the decrees of the Ministry of Health and the corresponding protocols should be implemented.
Asked which measures apply to Cypriots, Karousos said that there are specific protocols from companies regarding passengers adding that passengers should ask those cruise companies for information on the matter. As regards their return to Cyprus, he said that in that case the government decrees apply, based on the category of the countries that were included in the cruise destinations.
In addition, the Minister of Transport noted that there is great interest in Cyprus on behalf of cruise companies, saying that this interest is even greater than before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, in his statements, Demetriades said that the protocol presented on Friday is the result of a collective effort and stressed that a big step is made today, demonstrating that Cyprus is ready to welcome large-scale cruise ships, which have included Cyprus in the world cruise map.
He assured that there is no reason of concern regarding the presence of cruise passengers in Cyprus, since the protocols of the companies are among the strictest ones. He added that together with the protocol presented today, "we ensure that passengers will arrive safely and move safely within the territory of the Republic of Cyprus ".