A Dutch couple who have owned a house in Pissouri since 2017 and spend part of each year in the island have seen their holiday plans for this year hampered by the government’s decision of placing Netherlands in category C earlier this week.
Entry to Cyprus from category C countries is allowed only to Cypriot citizens permanently residing in the Republic of Cyprus and their family members, permanent residents, people allowed to enter Cyprus under the Vienna Convention and people with special permission.
Before Monday’s decision, Conny and Robert de Roos from Hellevoetsluis were allowed to come to Cyprus provided they had a negative coronavirus test taken 72 hours before departure.
The couple think the decision of downgrading the Netherlands to category C was taken after the incident that saw 26 people from 30 screened and wrongly deemed positive for the virus on Monday after arriving at Paphos airport. Ten of these cases who at first appeared to be positive were from the Netherlands.
“We were planning to stay in Cyprus for a couple of weeks in September,” the couple told Cyprus Mail. “The last time we visited Cyprus was February, but we left for the Netherlands just before the lockdown.
“It seems to us that as a result of clumsy testing at the Mediterranean Hospital, the Netherlands have been wrongly placed in category C, effectively denying us the possibility of coming to Cyprus this summer.
“This whole affair is rather frustrating. It is creating a bad image of Cyprus. We hope that the responsible authorities in Cyprus will review the position of the Netherlands soon.”
However, the decision of placing the Netherlands in category C was taken long before the incident with the tests at the Mediterranean Hospital, a spokesperson of the health ministry told Daily Cyprus .
“The epidemiological team constantly monitors the situation with Covid-19 in other countries and the situation in the Netherlands prior to the testing incident was serious enough to justify the decision of placing the country in category C,” the health ministry’s spokesperson said.
According to the country’s governmental National Institute for Public Health, 3,588 new Covid-19 infections were reported over the past week in the Netherlands, where since the start of the pandemic 68,624 cases and 6,218 deaths were registered.