| 24 April 2024, Wednesday |

Cyprus opens doors to vaccinated tourists from 65 countries including UAE

Fully vaccinated tourists from 65 countries including the UAE will be allowed to holiday in Cyprus from May 10, without restrictions.

The island’s tourist minister, Savvas Perdios, said on Monday that they will neither need to provide a negative Covid test norn quarantine.

So long as prospective tourists have received both doses of a Covid vaccine, they will be permitted to enter, regardless of when the second jab was administered, he said.

Armenia, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, the United States and Switzerland are among the countries joining the UAE on Cyprus’s green list.

Last month Israeli and British tourists were given permission to visit the east Mediterranean holiday destination without entry restrictions, and Cyprus hopes Monday’s announcement will further revive its Covid-bedevilled tourism sector.

Tourism contributes around 15 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product but earnings plunged 85 per cent in 2020 as coronavirus laid waste to the sector.

Britain is the island’s largest market for tourists, making up a third of nearly four million arrivals in 2019. Nearby Israel is its third-biggest source.

Cypriot authorities are waiting for the UK government to announce when it will lift its ban on Britons taking holidays abroad. A decision is expected in early May but the traffic light system for travel  under which UK tourists must operate has already been outlined.

The island went into a two-week lockdown on Monday following a record surge in cases, and its second-largest source for tourists, Russia, has put chartered flights on ice as a result.

“We are confident that once our epidemiological picture improves, charter flights will be allowed, something we expect to happen in the coming weeks as the vaccination rollout progresses,” said Mr Perdios.

If tourists do holiday on the Mediterranean island, they will have to comply with health protocols such as mandatory mask wearing and social distancing.

Cyprus has recorded a total of 298 coronavirus deaths and 61,576 infections to date.