Cyprus was praised by major countries for its immediate reaction to the virus pandemic outbreak and have pronounced the island as one of the few safe destinations who managed to contain the spread of the virus and had only few Covid-19 patients of its overall population.
This superb world recognition only adds value to the island’s ranking as the 5th safest country in the world for 2020. Travelers from around the globe are seeing Cyprus as one of their best options to travel to, after being locked down for several weeks, where COVID-19 is under control and restriction measures are basically fundamental hygiene routines which should always be applied.
The island’s ranking was a result of various factors taken into consideration, such as transport, natural disasters, effectiveness of healthcare system and terrorist threat and crime levels.
Just in a few months and in the middle of a worldwide chaos, a small island in the Mediterranean rose through the mess and managed to come up as a TOP tourist and investment destination.
Cyprus Investment Program and Permanent Residence Scheme
Being an established business hub for many decades, Cyprus naturally attracts numerous high net worth individuals and investors to register their companies in the island as well as exploit the Cyprus Investment Program and Permanent Residence Scheme and gain from the relevant benefits of both programs.
The Cyprus Investment Program is quite beneficial for the applicants as numerous advantages will add value to their business transactions. Non – Cypriot citizens that apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception, may gain Visa free travel to 174 countries including all EU countries, Canada, Japan, Singapore etc. Additionally, they have the right to live, work and study in EU countries as well as gain access to full residence status with employment all over Europe. What is more, Cyprus Investment Program allows for free trade within the European Union with low tax rates and increased profit margin.
Permanent Residence, on the other side, has the privilege of continuing benefit from your current citizenship status, while, under certain residency requirements, can be converted to Nationality. PR Scheme minimizes requirements of entry in EU while the owner is entitled to permanently reside in Cyprus and eases access to Schengen Zone countries.
Real Estate is the preferred industry among investors as this particular sector is one of the most renowned, long-term type of investment for various significant reasons.
Investing in properties never goes “out of style” as people will never stop looking for properties and the demand for new or renovated properties will always be high.
Through their properties, owners can generate a steady passive income, either short-term or long-term, with minimum expenses through the years; not to mention high rates of Return on Investment.
The overall industry is quite stable and that makes Real Estate a relatively low risk investment with high rates of recovery through time. Various market researches have proved that Real Estate ALWAYS recovers after an economic recession and prices go back up in a short period of time.
Properties are also depreciable thus less income taxes payable, and also, they can be renovated, resold, demolished and recreated which can increase their value significantly and endlessly.
Following a widely accepted successful strategy for the prevention of the pandemic spread, Cyprus Government issued detailed protocols for the safe re-opening of the island, so that tourists, investors and locals stay safe during the transition period, from the re-opening to the return to normalcy.
Protocol letter, in the form of Questions and Answers, was sent to the island’s partners abroad to initiate the overall promotional strategy and attract visitors on numerous points as listed below:
Countries are separated into categories, Source Countries Category A (Malta, Greece, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Lithuania) and Source Countries Category B (Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Croatia,Estonia) based on internationally available epidemiological data. As from June 20, travellers from countries in category A will not need a health certificate for COVID-19.
On the contrary, travellers from category B countries are required to provide a PCR test certificate at the source country 72 hours prior to travel. If their country is unable to make a PCR testing widely available to the public, compulsory testing will be required upon arrival at Cyprus airports, at a cost of 60 euros per person.
Tourists and visitors from source countries not featured in the two categories, will be allowed only in extraordinary occasions and only after they have received prior approval by the Cyprus Government. This will also be applied for transit travel via these countries.
COVID-19 Traveler Declaration (available on the Cyprus Foreign Ministry`s website) which will be requested prior to boarding and at border control at the destination.
Additionally, the Traveler Declaration will include information regarding the travelers trips up to 14 days before arrival in the island, confirmation that the traveler has not visited or resided in a country excluded from categories A and B, confirmation that has not shown any COVID- 19 related symptoms for a period up to 72 hours before the flight and that they did not have any contact with COVID-19 patients 14 days before the flight.
A disclaimer stating that the traveler is coming to Cyprus at their own responsibility and that the Republic of Cyprus and business operating within, cannot be held liable for infection during the travel period. Furthermore, they must provide a disclaimer upon return to their country of origin, a person will notify the Health Authorities of Cyprus, should they display COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days leaving the island.
Prior to boarding, travelers will need to present a valid PCR test certificate (when applicable) and “COVID-19 Traveler Declaration”. Travelers’ temperature may possibly be taken prior to boarding. Wearing of masks may be made compulsory during the flight.
Arriving at the Cyprus airports, entrance will only be allowed to travelers and working staff. Travelers will also have their temperature taken at border control.
- All hospitality establishments have devised enhanced health and safety protocols and their staff will undergo extensive training.
- Physical distancing measures will also be required for people from different travel groups (2sq. meters outdoors and 3sq. meters indoors).
- In cases where physical distance is not possible (public transport, airports etc.), wearing a mask is compulsory for staff and visitors.
- All indoor spaces should frequently be aerated in order to enhance air conditioning with fresh air regularly.
- All establishments will be equipped with antibacterial gel.
Buses/rental vehicles / taxi / diving and safari jeeps
- Frequent aeriation and disinfection of buses and rentals (after their return).
- Disinfection of all touch points after every route for taxi and safari / diving jeeps.
Archaeological sites, museums, theme parks, mini cruises, diving sites, water sports
- Disinfection of all touch points after every route
Swimming pools, beaches and water parks
- Disinfection of umbrellas, safe boxes and sunbeds after every use.
- 4m distance between umbrellas and 2 meters between sunbeds for people from different groups.
- Lifeguards who are called on a life-saving incident, are not obliged to physical distancing.
- Use of masks for all cleaning staff and other staff.
- Spreading of guests at group check-in.
- Allocations of rooms will only be made after a certain period of time has passed (appropriate cleaning, disinfection and aeriation).
- Disinfection of room key cards after every departure and prior to arrival.
- On self-service stations, where food and drinks are placed, hand disinfection stations as well as sneeze guards will be created.
Restaurants, bars, cafes, pubs and nightclubs
- It is required of all staff to wear mask and use proper hand hygiene but, however, not mandatory for staff serving outdoors during the daytime because of the intense heat.
- The set party size number of people is 10 people.
- Minimum distance between tables of people from different groups set to 2 meters.
- After every use, the menus will be disinfected (when they are not disposable).
- Card payments will be encouraged instead of cash payments.
- Disinfection of all touch points after every use.
- Towels and table linens will preferably be disposable.
- At the entrance, there will be an information notice, displaying the maximum number of people allowed in the place at any given time.
Regardless of country of origin, randomly picked travelers will be tested for the new COVID-19 when they arrive in Cyprus and the government will bear the cost of the test.
If a visitor tests positive, they will receive the necessary medical care for free (the cost of lodging, food, drinks and medication will be born from the Republic of Cyprus) and they will only pay for the cost of returning ticket.
A hospital especially for COVID-19 will be available only for travelers who tested positive during their stay in Cyprus. Dedicated quarantine hotels (approximately 500 beds) will be available for the close contacts of the COVID-19 positive travelers.
The above protocols aim at continuing the successful virus spread prevention strategy, Cyprus Government followed during the lockdown period of March – May 2020.
Taking everything into account, now is the time for a general restart, economy wise as well as business wise.
What is better than a thriving economy back on its feet, with excellent investment opportunities and an ideal destination for vacation?