Cyprus drops Covid tests for tourists, face masks indoors

ATHENS (AFP): Cyprus on Wednesday ditched the last of its Covid restrictions, including a mandate on wearing face masks indoors and test requirements for unvaccinated airport arrivals.

The government decided last week to lift all restrictions at airports ahead of the hot summer season for the tourism-reliant Mediterranean island.

Travellers heading there are no longer required to show a certificate of vaccination or recovery or to take a PCR test.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said passenger traffic in May reached 77 percent of the same month in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, with an average of 30,000 passengers a day.

Last year, Cyprus saw a 51 percent drop in tourists compared to 2019 — the island’s record year when 3.97 million came.

Nearly 15 percent of the island’s gross domestic product is generated from tourism.

Face masks are no longer required indoors with the exception of high-risk areas such as hospitals, clinics, care homes and other institutional facilities.

The health ministry said face masks are still recommended in crowded places and for vulnerable groups, and a mask mandate for public transport remains in place.

Covid deaths and infections have slowed. In its weekly report, health authorities on Friday reported 1,774 cases and two deaths.

Total infections since March 2020 rose to 489,963, while 1,059 deaths have been reported.

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