Cypriot Leader Cancels Visit to Israel due to Coronavirus Spike
Nicos Anastasiades, president of the Republic of Cyprus, has cancelled next Tuesday’s trip to Jerusalem due to a spike of fresh coronavirus cases in Israel. He was to have held talks on a proposed gas pipeline to Europe, pressure from Turkey to drill for natural gas in waters claimed by southern Cyprus’s Athens-oriented government, and a renewal of Cypriot-Israeli tourism in the coronavirus age. However, Nicosia has now removed Israel from a group of low-risk countries whose citizens were being welcomed back unconditionally. Since June 11, Israelis wishing to travel to the Mediterranean island have had to bring an official bill of clean health following testing for coronavirus three days before their arrival. Israel has consistently been among those nations cited for handling the pandemic properly; by last month, its numbers for new daily infections had dropped to just a handful. However, the figures spiked going into June, topping 250 each day now for close to a week, and authorities are mulling a slowdown in the easing of restrictions.