I am extremely worried about the reopening of Cyprus to some countries that are far from being a model in fighting the virus pandemic. Cyprus depends on tourism, but all the efforts made by us, living here, during lock-down might be ruined because of incoming tourists from destinations that are at high risk.
I am amazed at the “fantastic” process put in place at Larnaca airport for arrival passengers. My son, born in Cyprus, arrived from Luton recently with two friends and they were tested for Covid. No problem, they knew it and accepted the test as part of the procedure.
Then my son was the first one to go through passport control and had no luggage to collect. He asked some policemen there where to go and they indicated a bus for Ayia Napa.
Had he not asked, as a flight also arrived from Athens at the same time, he could have simply walked away like a passenger arriving from Athens, and he would have slept at his home that first night. He soon realised he should have kept quiet and do that and sent a message to his friends who did what he suggested.
They simply walked past police officers without asking anything and exited the airport, going straight home.
Meanwhile we were waiting already almost 24 hours for our son, locked in some hotel in Ayia Napa, no change of clothing, basic food dropped in a plastic bag at the room door and terrible WiFi connection not allowing him to load documents for the law firm he worked at in London. And guess what? The result of the test was not ready the next day, meaning my son spent a second night in “jail”.
If tested negative, he would have been authorised to come home. If tested positive, he would have been authorised to come home. And to isolate himself. So, what is the reason to lock people up that way, prevent them from greeting their families, since anyway they will go back home?
Here we are:
- The control of arriving passengers at Larnaca is not being followed properly.
- The isolation of Cyprus’ own residents at hotels is a disgrace and useless
I was very proud of Cyprus’ achievement so far and all my European friends were very admiring. But frankly, the experience of my son, whom I have not seen since Christmas, was very upsetting and made me realise that Cyprus is far from ready to open the doors to so many tourists. If nothing changes, then the price to pay in September might be heavy. I hope not.