The improved epidemiological picture of Cyprus in view of the announcements of the British government for the updated categorization of the countries was presented by the Undersecretary of Tourism Savvas Perdios in his contacts yesterday in London.
Mr. Perdio's trip to the United Kingdom and Russia, the two largest tourist markets in Cyprus, aims to promote the improved image with the aim of upgrading Cyprus to the British green category, but also the resumption of chartered flights from Russia , which will lead to an increase in tourist arrivals.
Today, Mr. Perdios is leaving London for Athens and the meeting of the European Commission of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), while on Saturday he is going to the Russian capital.
Speaking to KYPE from London, the Undersecretary of Tourism said that these meetings were made in view of the new announcements of Britain for the categorization of the countries that are expected within the days.
“That is why we have chosen to update at this time, we are seeing an improvement in the epidemiological picture and announcements from the British government, and we wanted to make sure that our message would be passed before these decisions are made,” he said.
As he said, “the main purpose of our visit was to provide a personal briefing to the British side on how Cyprus manages the pandemic and the progress in the vaccination program. He added that “we wanted to make sure that they have in mind the right information in view of the upcoming decisions on the epidemiological picture of Cyprus.”
According to Mr. Perdios, in his contacts with the British side, “special emphasis was given to the fact that of all summer tourist destinations Cyprus has the lowest rate of positivity and the highest number of tests, while the rate of disease reproduction in Cyprus is approximately at 0.5% “.
“These statistics, ie the rate of positivity and the R, are much lower than the corresponding indicators of Britain itself,” he said, adding that it was reported that every two weeks we do a number of tests equal to our total population.
He characteristically stated that he asked his interlocutors to show him another country in Europe and the Mediterranean that has such a positive rate and tests its entire population every two weeks.
Regarding the vaccination program, Mr. Perdios said that he informed the British that over 50% of our population has been vaccinated with the first dose and that the planning envisages that by the end of the month we will reach 65%.
“We told them that the first round of vaccinations has already ended in Cyprus and there is an opportunity for 18-year-olds to be vaccinated,” he said, adding that this means that young people in various fields, not only in the tourism sector, managed to be vaccinated.
With the Indian mutation of the virus causing increased concern to the British authorities, Mr. Perdios informed his interlocutors that there were few cases of the Indian mutation in Cyprus and that they were located at the airport and immediately entered quarantine.
He also noted that of the countries where mutations with increased transmission were recorded, such as India, South Africa and Brazil, they never opened during the pandemic and there is no thought of opening them in the near future.
Mr. Perdios stressed that in addition to this live information, information has been provided on a weekly basis for a month now. “They are fully aware of the improvement in the epidemiological picture,” he added, noting that the British authorities are taking a very careful approach and scrutinizing each country's epidemiological data.
Russia: Targeted charter flights
Mr. Perdios travels to Moscow on Saturday, in order to promote the resumption of charter flights, after the improvement of the epidemiological image of Cyprus, explaining that the scheduled (regular) flights are already carried out.
“Our visit to Moscow is now to allow charter flights, which will carry increased numbers,” he explained.
Concluding, Mr. Perdios stressed that “the improvement of our epidemiological image allows us as the Ministry of Tourism to push more strongly in this direction and with much more confidence.”
Philenews / ΚΥΠΕ