Cyprus says that quarantine hotels for families of coronavirus patients will have a "holiday mood" with nightly karaoke, shows and bingo – and that no one has to sunbathe in a mask
- MailOnline Travel spoke to the island's Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios
- He said that quarantine hotels will have room service and nightly entertainment
- Mr Perdios said he was confident that British tourists would be able to visit from mid-July
- Here's how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Cyprus has created three quarantine hotels so that family and friends of holidaymakers who test positive can comfortably isolate, the deputy tourism minister has confirmed.
The hotels that have room service are paid for by the government and there is entertainment every night that guests can enjoy from their balconies, including bingo, karaoke, and performances.
The island's deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios, also confirmed earlier reports that the government has set up a hospital exclusively for tourists who test positive for coronavirus while on vacation on the island.
Cyprus has created three quarantine hotels so that family and friends of holidaymakers who test positive can comfortably isolate, the deputy tourism minister has confirmed. Limassol City is shown
He told MailOnline Travel: “We have set up a special hospital for people who test positive. The hotel has special intensive beds and ventilation equipment. The government pays all medical expenses until they can fly home.
"We will also have 500 quarantine hotel rooms where family and friends of those who have tested positive can stay at the government's expense."
“You can order room service, meals, and drinks, and get nightly entertainment like karaoke, shows, and bingo so it still feels like a vacation. The government will cover the costs. We don't want visitors to pay twice. "
The eastern Mediterranean island offers a spectacular landscape on the coast and inland
Mr Perdios said he was confident that British tourists would be able to visit the popular eastern Mediterranean island from mid-July.
"We expect British tourists to be able to visit by mid-July," he said. “August and September look very good for British tourists. We are one of the warmest countries in the Mediterranean, so it is hot here until Christmas.
“Cyprus has fantastic food, beautiful nature, fantastic hospitality and it has shown that it is able to deal with a crisis and has a very reliable health service. We have a higher proportion of intensive care beds than the average country in the EU, and people will look at these statistics when deciding where to go on vacation this year.
"We want people to feel safe during a visit and to know that they will be looked after in the event of illness."
The port of Kyrenia on the north side of the island is popular with tourists
Hotels, bars and restaurants have been reopened on the island with strict social distancing measures.
The airports were reopened on Tuesday for tourists from category A countries. These are countries that have successfully combated the virus, including Greece, Germany, Austria and Denmark. However, all travelers are tested before they arrive.
From June 20, tourists from these countries will be able to visit without a test, and Cyprus will also open to Category B countries, including Poland and Switzerland. Visitors from these countries must be tested in advance or upon arrival.
Mr. Perdios said that they check the list of countries allowed on the island weekly.
He said Cyprus responded quickly to the outbreak of the corona virus, which meant they kept it under control.
Kalamies Beach with the whitewashed chapel of Agios Nikolaos on the other bank
"We were actually one of the first EU countries to take strong action," he said. “We closed airports, hotels and restaurants in March when other EU countries didn't take it seriously.
“We were blocked for six weeks and anyone who wanted to leave home to get food or medication or exercise had to text the government to get permission.
“This stubborn approach was a success. We had the lowest per capita cases almost everywhere in Europe. We tested 10 percent of our population.
“Cyprus won't look like a big hospital this summer. Of course there will be social distancing and cleaning will be intensified, but visitors don't have to book a sun lounger or sunbathe in a mask. Service will be much better with fewer people around. "