Cyprus has been open to some tourists from early June, but the UK wasn’t on the list. With the infection rate improving in the UK and lockdown restrictions being eased, it has been suggested that holidays aren’t totally off the table this summer. Cyprus could be an option for British holidaymakers, and here’s why.
Is Cyprus on lockdown?
Since closing their borders in March, Cyprus kept its total coronavirus case to under 1000.
The Cypriot Government ended two months of lockdown on Thursday, May 21.
More than 32,000 people went back to work and thousands of children returned to school.
As of June 9, shopping centres, airports, bars, restaurants, and cinemas were back in business.
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The island has reopened tourism, letting in a list of countries for the time being.
The nation split countries into two categories: Category A and Category B.
As of June 20, those flying from Category A countries could enter Cyprus with no restrictions.
However, those flying in from Category B countries would need to have a PCR test done 72 hours prior to travel.
The United Kingdom is noticeably absent from this list, but the list will be updated as the COVID situation changes in the UK.
The island is eager for Brits to visit, with the nation being it a huge chunk of its income from tourism.
When can we travel to Cyprus?
Cyprus’ Deputy Minister of Tourism told the Sun that flights between the UK and Cyprus could be resumed by July 15.
He said: “The UK is our biggest market, it’s massively important to us, and the situation there is improving all the time.
“In a few weeks from now, by mid-July, flights will be possible from the UK to Cyprus … July 15 sounds very reasonable.”
Flights to Cyprus with EasyJet have sold out next month, with holidaymakers eager to soak in the Cyprus sun.
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Mr Perdios also predicted discounted holidays, with tour operators eager to attract as many customers as possible.
He said: There are going to be very good deals for Brits this summer I am certain of that, not just in Cyprus but the Mediterranean in general.
“We’ve been in contact with tour operators for the last two months at least, talking to TUI, Jet2, etc.
“We’re going to see a price war with heavy discounting especially via tour operators in the coming weeks.
“The reason the new deals haven’t come up yet is because nobody knew when, exactly, they were opening.
“The rates, the deals, the packages are being finalised now.
“Now that things are a little bit clearer and destinations are opening, tour operators feel it’s possible to save a small part of the summer even at the last moment.”
This can all go ahead if the UK changes its advice on international travel by next month.
The island has also promised to pay all expenses if visitors contract coronavirus while on holiday, with quarantine hotels set up to accommodate relatives of those who catch it.
Brits may need to take a test at Cyprus’ airports or bring proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19.
Out of the 994 recorded total cases in Cyprus, 824 have recovered and 19 have died.
This leaves only 151 active cases and no critical cases, making the island a safe place to visit.
Will the UK have an airbridge with Cyprus?
At present, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all but essential international travel, ruling out a holiday to Cyprus.
However, these restrictions are expected to be lifted on Monday in line with another big announcement.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps first introduced the concept of air bridges in May, and the Government’s plans are set to be unveiled on June 29.
An air bridge, also known as a travel corridor or transport corridor, is an agreement between two countries that allows tourists to travel without restrictions.
Airbridge agreements mean that UK holidaymakers can visit countries with low COVID-19 infection rates without having to quarantine for 14 days when they return home.
The agreement is reciprocal, with people in those countries free to travel to the UK without having to quarantine on entry.
The Government’s plan is to have “travel corridors” between the UK and a number of short-haul destinations.
Top contenders are Spain, France and Greece, but this is not certain and it is not yet known whether Cyprus will be included.
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