The coronavirus reality will dictate new rules and habits in the tourism sector and businesses will need to adapt to offer visitors what they want at this moment, Demetra Landou reports in Phileleftheros.

Catering and events establishments will need to take into consideration the new reality created by coronavirus with rules expected to be introduced as regards distancing, she adds.

The deputy ministry of tourism in cooperation with hoteliers is working on a series of regulations instructing hotels how to operate under the new conditions.

These will cover issues such as tables in dining areas and sunbeds at the pools, as well as instructions regarding tourist arrivals, the newspaper added.

Hotels will have to acquire thermometers to take the temperature of their clients. Other issues being discussed relate to visitors’s actual entry into the country — for example whether they will require some kind of certificate and what checks will held at the airport. The checks that may be carried out by airlines is also being reviewed.

Consultations kicked off with hotels but will expand to the tourism sector as a whole and to catering establishments.

Deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios told the newspaper that he has been in consultation with tourism stakeholders for several weeks.

“Certainly we are not going back to the old model where everyone who wanted to come to Cyprus could do so. No country will operate in this way this summer,” he said.

“The first thing that a visitor wants this year is not the beach or the food or the hospitality. The first thing they are interested is hygiene measures to ensure they are not at risk,” he added.

Perdios said the tourism sector will prepare suggestions to be sent to the Health Ministry for discussion so that they can be adopted or amended.

For example, the Health Ministry may say that as the situation in July and August may be still in flux there will be a maximum to the number of visitors. This is something that must be complied with, Perdios added.

Businessmen will need to change their mindset.

“It doesn’t mean that because a restaurant has a capacity for a certain number of people it should fill up. They will have to leave more space between tables, chairs and sunbeds. We need to understand how visitors are thinking and each one should take the corresponding measures at their business so as to be in line with what the client wants at this moment,” he concluded.

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