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Deputy Minister for Tourism outlines improvement in Covid situation

02/06/2021 09:10

Cyprus Deputy Minister for Tourism, Savvas Perdios has briefed the British side over the island’s improved Covid-19 data ahead of the update of the UK country rating list.

Perdios travelled yesterday to London and will also visit Moscow, with a view to press for the restart of chartered flights from Cyprus’ second biggest tourist market after the UK.

Speaking to CNA from London, Perdios said his meetings in the British capital were was timely selected in view of the new announcement by the British authorities concerning international travel. Cyprus is currently in the amber list which forces travellers arriving to London to quarantine at home or for 10 days and to take two COVID-19.

“That’s why we opted to brief directly his interlocutors over the improvement of Cyprus’ epidemiological image,” he told CNA.

Perdios said he briefed his interlocutors on the improvement in the daily test positivity rate couple with the highest number of tests, with the reproduction rate (R) approximately to 0.5%, adding that every two weeks number of tests are equivalent of the island’s population.

“These data, that is, the test positivity rate and the R rate, are quite lower than the respective British indices” he added, noting that over the last month, Cyprus has been sending weekly Covid updates to the British authorities.

He also said that he briefed the British side that over 50% of Cyprus population has received first dose of EMA-approved jabs, while the aim is to reach 65% of the population by the end of June.

“We told them that the first round of inoculations has been completed and now were giving the opportunity to 18-year old persons to be vaccinated,” he said, noting that many young persons across all sectors of the economy and not just the tourism sector, have been vaccinated.

As the Indian mutation has been a main of concern in Britain, Perdios said he briefed his interlocutors that cases if the Indian Covid mutation has been limited in Cyprus, noting that these cases were traced at the airports and were immediately quarantined.

He also said that countries with significant mutations such as India, South Africa and Brazil were never opened for flights since the outbreak of the pandemic, noting that the Cypriot authorities have no intention of doing so in the immediate future.

Today, Perdios will travel to Athens to attend the UNWTO meeting, while he will travel to Moscow on Saturday to promote the restart of chartered flights to Cyprus.

Noting that programmed flights are already carried out, he said that chartered flights are those which will yield high tourist inflow to Cyprus from Russia.

“Our visit aims to enable the restart of chartered flights,” he said, noting that the improvement of Cyprus epidemiological image allowed the Deputy Ministry to press towards this end.