Cyprus will allow British tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the country without restrictions from May 1. a minister of tourism has said.
British visitors are the largest market for the country’s tourism industry, which has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. Arrivals and profits from the sector, which accounts for around 13% of the Cypriot economy, plunged on average by 85% in 2020.
“We have informed the British government that from 1 May we will facilitate the arrival of British citizens who have been vaccinated … so that they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or the need for quarantine,” Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas said on Thursday. Lose. .
Visitors would have to be inoculated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), he said, and the second dose of a vaccine must be administered no later than seven days before travel. Authorities would still reserve the right to randomly test arrivals, Perdios added.
Cyprus has been in and out of the blockade for about a year, but its coronavirus outbreak has been relatively mild compared to other countries. By Thursday, it had recorded a total of 36,004 infections and 232 deaths. The authorities have also introduced widespread testing, and almost everyone is required to take a test once a week.
The country has already reached an agreement whereby, as of April 1, Israelis vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine will not be required to perform a PCR test and will not be quarantined upon arrival.
It is currently illegal for British people to travel abroad beyond a few exceptions. The government has cracked down on non-essential international travel, including requiring travelers to provide a valid reason to travel or risk being turned away at the airport or, in some cases, fined.
According to Boris Johnson’s roadmap to get out of England’s third national lockdown, the earliest possible date for the resumption of international holidays is May 17. This would be subject to a review by the Department of Transportation on how to allow more inbound and outbound travel as soon as possible, given concerns about new variants of the coronavirus.
UK ministers are considering whether and how to facilitate the introduction of vaccine certificates or “passports” for people who wanted to travel to other countries that required them, in what could become a global approach in which countries are likely to require proof of vaccination to allow safety. travel.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is leading a review of the proposal to use certificates to allow visits to places like pubs and theaters. But the prime minister has said that there are complex ethical issues with such requirements, so the review will consider negative Covid testing for access to some events or services, as well as vaccination history.
Countries like Greece and Austria are keen to establish vaccine passport systems, and Denmark and Sweden are already developing them. Iceland has said it will not require travelers from an EEA / Efta state to quarantine themselves if they have been fully vaccinated. Other countries that also receive vaccinated visitors (although not from the UK currently) include Seychelles and Romania.
The travel company Saga, which operates vacations for over 50s, and the Australian airline Qantas, have said that passengers must have been vaccinated.
Last week, Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said the first technical discussions were taking place with UK officials on how a possible passport scheme might work. Vaccinated Britons are welcome in Estonia and Poland (once the government travel ban is lifted).
But the UK government emphasizes that there is still no guarantee that foreign holidays can take place this year, and each phase of relief from the lockdown depends on the impact of the last.
The findings of the review are expected to be available before the final phase of England’s lockdown on June 21, the earliest date by which ministers expect most of Covid’s measures to come to an end.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism