Cyprus tipped to open borders to vaccinated Brits from May 1

Cyprus will open its borders to vaccinated Britons from the start of May, say reports.

However, the UK government will not allow non-essential overseas travel until May 17 at the earliest.

The BBC reported that the Cypriot government said those who had received both Covid jabs could travel to the Mediterranean islands without restrictions from May 1.

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

Tourists would be required to have had their second dose at least seven days before travelling, the minister added.

The Times understands that Cypriot officials are examining ways to check that Britons are vaccinated, possibly including an app or letters from GPs.

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

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The Cyprus Mail reported that authorities in Cyprus “reserve the right to take random samples at the airports, including among those having been vaccinated”.

“Those immunised must still observe all protocols on arrival – masks and distancing,” it added.

The newspaper also said Brits would be allowed into Cyprus from April 1, “provided that Britain is categorised as a ‘green’ country”.

British nationals without a vaccine will be allowed to travel to Cyprus if they have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

The Guardian said that British visitors are the largest market for Cyprus’s tourism industry, which has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. Arrivals and earnings from the sector, which represents about 13% of the Cypriot economy, plunged on average 85% in 2020.

“Cyprus has been in and out of lockdown for about a year, but its coronavirus outbreak has been mild compared with other countries. By Thursday, it had recorded a total of 36,004 infections and 232 deaths,” said the Guardian.

“Authorities have also introduced widespread testing, with almost everyone obliged to take a test once a week.”

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