NICOSIA, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus will allow airports to restart operation and plane arrivals on June 9, when the third phase of restarting the economy will come into force, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Thursday.
He was speaking in the morning at a press conference on the government's lockdown exit strategy, which starts on May 4 with a partial easing of the measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Restrictions will be totally lifted on May 21, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades announced in a televised speech on Wednesday night.
Ioannou said that as of June 9 ports will also start servicing cruise ships, and that restaurants, cafes and similar premises will be allowed to receive customers both in indoor and outdoor spaces.
The minister said that hotels will also restart operation, indicating that they will be allowed to receive tourists, who will be allowed into the country under conditions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Tourism is the steam engine of the Cypriot economy, contributing, along with travel, about 21 percent to the country's gross domestic product, according to Statistical Service data.
Ioannou said the fourth and final phase in lifting restrictions will come into force on July 14, when indoor cinemas, theaters and casinos will reopen, and festivals and concerts will be allowed.
Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said that the planning of the government provides for the recovery of the economy to start in the fourth quarter of 2020, with economic development peaking in 2021.
He also assured public sector employees that they will not face cuts in their salaries, as it happened during the 2013 economic crisis, saying that the government wanted people to have money to spend.
Petrides said that for this reason, the government's economic policy aims at boosting workers' earnings. Enditem