Cyprus will open doors to vaccinated UK tourists from 1 May

Photo: AP

Cyprus will open its doors from 1 May to British tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, AFP reported, citing a government minister in Nicosia. "We informed the British government that as of May 1, we would facilitate the arrival of British citizens immunised with EU-licenced vaccines to enter Cyprus with no negative Covid-19 test and no quarantine," Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said, quoted by the state-funded Cyprus News Agency.

Perdios said the policy was subject to the British government's Covid-19 restrictions, which currently ban international travel.

The announcement comes after Cyprus and Israel agreed a deal last month allowing vaccinated citizens of the two countries to travel each way without limitations, once passenger flights resume.

Britain is the island's largest market for tourists, making up a third of its arrivals in 2019, while nearby Israel is its third-biggest source.

Under the Cypriot government's plan, UK citizens who have received the second dose of a Covid vaccine at least seven days before travelling would be allowed entry, but could still be subject to random testing at airports. Britons would also still have to comply with health protocols such as mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing.

Although Cyprus has imposed two national lockdowns during the year-long pandemic, it has had a milder outbreak than many other European Union countries. The Republic of Cyprus has recorded 232 coronavirus deaths and 36,004 infections since the onset of the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the Mediterranean island's vital tourism industry, with arrivals slumping to 631,609 in 2020 from nearly four million in 2019.


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