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Cyprus open to UK tourists – but you need a jab

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Brits will be able to visit Cyprus on holiday from 1 May as long as they have had a Covid-19 vaccination.

Visitors to the island from the UK won’t need to provide a negative Covid test or go into quarantine, as long as they can prove they have had both doses of the vaccine. But the authorities would still reserve the right to carry out random tests on arrivals.

However, UK government restrictions don’t allow non-essential travel abroad until 17 May at the earliest. The lifting of lockdown restrictions is dependent on Covid-19 infection rates and the vaccination rollout.

The move by the Cypriot government increases the probability that Brits will need vaccine passports to travel in the future, with many countries unlikely to admit tourists who haven’t been vaccinated against coronavirus.

Cyprus’s deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios, said the country would allow Brits who had been given vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) the right to enter without the need for a negative test or to quarantine.

The vaccines being used in the UK – Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna – have all been approved for use by the EMA.

Tourists would need to have had their second dose at least seven days before travelling to the island.

Cyprus has already struck a similar agreement allowing Israeli tourists to enter the country from 1 April.

Some companies have already taken the controversial step of announcing that they will only hire workers who have had the jab.

The travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with ever-changing rules about travel bans, border closures, pre-travel testing and hotel quarantine making overseas travel virtually impossible for almost a year.