In a two-pronged move to increase the number of people who have vaccinated for COVID-19 and help its struggling hotel industry, Cyprus’ government is offering to pay 35 per cent of the cost of hotel and holiday apartment accommodation for permanent residents who can prove they have received an EU-approved jab.

Cyprus Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios announced, according to Kathimerini, that the offer would available until the end of August and that 25 per cent of the island nation’s hotels and hotel apartments had applied to take part in the scheme.

He said the offer was intended to encourage more people to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and to help the hotel industry to cope with reduced number of tourists visiting the island this summer tourism season.

The Cyprus Employers’ Federation is urging members to ban employees who do not want to vaccinate for COVID-19.

READ MORE: Greek youth offered incentives to get vaccinated, and Aegean is following suit

Meanwhile, in Greece, the Ministry of Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis,  has launched a free app for phones and tablets that is aimed at allowing greater freedom of movement for people who have received their COVID-19vaccinations or have recovered from it.

Launching the COVID Free GR app on Tuesday, Mr Pierrakakis said the app would make it easier for citizens to show proof of their immunity status at indoor leisure and entertainment venues that did not allow unvaccinated patrons.

READ MORE: Greece opens its borders for international travellers

The minister said the app could also be used at open air venues to show proof of a negative rapid or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test from an approved laboratory.

Mr Pierrakakis said the app did not store or show sensitive information but accessed the central database to issue colour-coded certificates: green for people who are fully vaccinated or who have antibodies that show they have recovered from COVID-19; yellow for a negative test result; and red for invalid or unconfirmed claims.