Cyprus, whose tourism is dependent on Britain and Russia, hopes for a turnaround from July

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Cyprus is hoping to regain lost ground in its tourism sector from July, by recording at least 30% of the tourist arrivals compared to last year.

The Mediterranean island had moved swiftly to contain the outbreak, ordering a broad lockdown within days of its first registered case on March 9. It started easing it on May 4 and has said hotels will reopen on June 1, Reuters reported.

Cyprus is hugely dependent on tourism for its revenues, which accounts for about 13% the country’s output. With five months of the season lost, Cyprus expects, at best, about 30% of last year’s total of 3.98 million visitors.

“The hit is massive, and we are trying to do our best now and do what we can for the remainder of the season. We have worked extremely hard to keep the virus in check here,” Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said.

Cyprus has emerged relatively unscathed by the pandemic. It has reported less than 950 cases, and 17 deaths.

The Reuters report said Cyprus will open on June 9 to travellers from countries including Germany, Greece and Israel. A group from mainly central Europe will be added on June 20, though Perdios said the list was being reviewed continuously.

“For our important markets like the UK, Russia and Sweden I expect in early July the situation (there) will allow their travel to Cyprus. I am quite optimistic about that,” Perdios said. Britain and Russia alone represent 55% of arrivals.