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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case CY-2020-30/883 – measures in Cyprus

Cyprus to pay holiday costs of infected tourists

Η Κύπρος αναλαμβάνει το κόστος διαμονής και περίθαλψης τουριστών με κορονοϊ

Country Cyprus , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 20 July 2020 – 31 October 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to get back to normal
– Measures to support a gradual relaunch of work
Author Loucas Antoniou (INEK) and Eurofound
Case created 17 June 2020 (updated 29 June 2020)

Background information

Cypriot authorities have pledged to cover the holiday costs for tourists who test positive for corona virus while on holidays on the island. Random checks will be conducted on tourists upon their arrival and if tested positive the government would pay for their accommodation, medicines and food expenses for the patients themselves and their families. COVID-19 infected patients would only need to cover their return flights. With tourism activities accounting for 13% of the GDP the announcement aims to help businesses return to normality in the post-COVID-19 era.

Content of measure

In a jointly signed letter to tourist operators the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Transportation and Tourism announced the new protocols for opening the country to tourists in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The letter aims to reassure the tourism professionals (airlines, travel operators, travel agencies, etc) and the tourists themselves about Cyprus being a safe tourism destination. As the country has managed well the recent pandemic (among those with the lowest confirmed cases), from 1 June businesses will be ready to operate normally with increased health and safety protocols in place while the airports open from 9 June.

To reassure tourists, Cypriot authorities have pledged to cover the holiday costs for those who test positive for corona virus while on holidays on the island. If random tests for COVID-19 upon the arrival of tourists are positive then the government will cover their accommodation, medicines and food expenses as well as those of their families. A 100-bed hospital would be set aside specifically for tourists who test positive while another 112 Intensive Care Units (ICU) units would become available. Additionally, 500 rooms in 'quarantine hotels' would be available for the patients' families and close relatives.

Use of measure

Tourism has a significant contribution to the country's income (13% of its GDP), empty hotel rooms, bars, archaeological sites, museums and in general idle economic activity in tourism activity would be very costly for the island. It is estimated that approximately 70% loss of the 2.6 billion of tourism income may be lost this year.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

Social partners were not involved in the consultation process for the designing of the measure and they are not involved in the implementation and monitoring of the measure either. It is a governmental decision taken among the members of the Cabinet. The implementation of the measure lies on the hotels assigned to accommodate positive tested tourists monitored by the respective governmental departments.

Views and reactions

Social partners see the measure very positively. They believe that the measure might contribute to the attempt of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the tourist partners to attract more tourist during the summer season. As it is said, the measure is also a fair measure for the infected tourists by offering health care and accommodation but a way to protect the general public at the same time.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I56 Food and beverage service activities
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities
      S - Other Service Activities S96 Other personal service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 26 May 2020: The letter of the Ministers (www.cna.org.cy)
  • 27 May 2020: Η Κύπρος αναλαμβάνει το κόστος διαμονής και περίθαλψης τουριστών με κορονοϊ (gr.euronews.com)
  • 28 May 2020: Cyprus to pay holiday costs of infected tourist (www.bbc.com)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Cyprus to pay holiday costs of infected tourists, case CY-2020-30/883 (measures in Cyprus), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.