Terrifying catch to country’s free holiday offer

Cyprus has a new offer. Image: Getty

Island nation Cyprus will cover the costs of travellers holidays entirely, should they catch coronavirus while in the country. 

Cyprus will pay for victims’ healthcare and the hotel costs for dependents should they pick up the deadly respiratory illness, with the Greek Cypriot government telling travellers the only bills they’d need to pay would be repatriation flights and taxis to airports. 

“Neither Greece nor Spain will be able to do this [offer] with the tourism volume they’ll have,” deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said. 

“It’s greatly appreciated by our partners abroad and is being seen as one of our strong points this summer.” 

The plan was outlined in a five page document detailing how Cyprus would reopen air travel on 9 June, after the country took a “massive hit” to tourism due to coronavirus. 

Tourism makes up 15 per cent of Cyprus’ GDP, with the country now eager to reopen borders to countries deemed low-risk including Greece, Israel, Malta and Germany. 

Travellers will need to prove they’ve tested negative to the disease within 72 hours of arriving in the country. Cyprus has also installed 200 respirators in 112 ICUs reserved for critically ill patients. Another 100-bed hospital has been set aside for foreign tourists and a 500 room hotel will be reserved for quarantining families of those with coronavirus.

Cyprus itself has managed to curb the virus’ spread, with 17 deaths and 942 cases representing a relatively small tally. 

It comes after other countries and islands in the Mediterranean region have offered to cover some costs of travellers’ holidays. 

Sicily will cover one of every three nights in hotels, while Spain’s Parador hotel chain is offering cheaper stays. 

And Greece will waive the requirement for immunity certificates and instead carry out spot tests at arrivals instead. 

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