EU economic intervention called for by Cyprus finance minister
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Cyprus is a popular holiday destination for Britons. British visitors are the largest market for the Cypriot tourism industry, which has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. Arrivals and earnings from the sector, which represents about 13 percent of the Cypriot economy, plunged on average 85 percent in 2020. Now the country has announced it will reopen its doors to British tourists in time for the summer.
Cyprus has now said it will open its borders to vaccinated Britons.
The Government in Cyprus said anyone who has had coronavirus vaccines can travel to the country from May 1.
This is more than two weeks before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap outlines Britons will be able to go on holiday.
Mr Johnson’s roadmap outlines UK domestic holidays away from home will be permitted from April 12.
International leisure travel will resume no earlier than May 17.
The Cypriot Government has not yet outlined how people will prove they have received both vaccine doses.
The move further underlines how the European Union is struggling to implement a bloc-wide stance on COVID-19 immunity certificates.
Savvas Perdios, Cyprus’s tourism minister, told the state news agency: “This is a very important development.”
He added this step should create “the necessary stability and a sense of security for travellers so they could plan their holiday in the coming summer.”
Under the proposed arrangement, Cyprus will require no negative coronavirus test and there will be no mandatory quarantine period.
Sample testing could be undertaken to keep cases from spreading and it is likely visitors will be required to follow COVID-19 rules.
These health initiatives may include mandatory social distancing and the requirement to wear face coverings.
Experts believe the island will likely ask tourists to present official vaccination certificates or proof they have recovered from coronavirus in the past 90 days.
Covid breakthrough: Cyprus reopens borders to Brits from May [INSIGHT]
Cyprus holidays: Cyprus may implement tourist vaccine rule [EXPLAINER]
Brexit travel: European destinations exempt from 90-day rule [ANALYSIS]
The news has received a mixed response from the public, with many excited to take a trip abroad, while others believe it is too early to think about overseas travel.
A Twitter user wrote: “Cyprus gives the all-clear to anyone from UK who has had 2 Covid vaccinations to come over on holiday. No-one is allowed to go abroad on holiday until at least May 17. Aye right! Watch the exodus on May 1.”
One person tweeted: “#Cyprus It is ridiculous to talk about holidays overseas ( with or without the vaccine) when we cannot even meet family and friends indoors here in the UK. People who went on holiday to Spain etc last summer brought back lots of Covid infections with them. Will we never learn?”
Is it safe to travel to Cyprus?
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said it is still “too early” to book a holiday abroad for later in the year.
Cyprus has been in and out of lockdowns for around a year.
However, compared to other countries, the outbreak has been relatively mild.
In total, the country has seen 36,004 cases of COVID-19, with 232 deaths reported.
Cyprus has vaccinated 53,617 people so far.
Travel abroad is still banned across the UK.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, which you are only entitled to do if you are travelling for an essential reason, there are certain steps you must take.
You must provide evidence of a negative Covid test result taken up to three days before departure.
If you do not comply and you do not have a valid exemption, your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
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