Cyprus opens doors to vaccinated tourists from 65 countries including UAE

Inoculated tourists will be welcome from May 10 without needing to quarantine or provide a negative Covid test

This picture taken on August 1, 2020 shows a Wizz Air Airbus A320-232 aircraft on its descent approach towards Cyprus' Larnaca International Airport as it flies over beachgoers at a nearby beach along the Mediterranean. - British visitors returning to Cyprus -- a former UK colony that depends heavily on tourism -- are set to give the holiday island's tourism sector a welcome boost after a battering by the pandemic, but some locals are sceptical about how big the gains will be. (Photo by Iakovos Hatzistavrou / AFP)

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 nor 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.

AYIA NAPA, CYPRUS - JULY 17 : The sea caves with the turquoise waters at Cape Greco on July 17, 2020 in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. Cape Greco or Cavo Greco is a headland in the southeastern part of the island of Cyprus. It is at the southern end of Famagusta Bay and forms part of Ayia Napa Municipality. Located between the towns of Ayia Napa and Protaras, both of which are popular tourist resorts. It is frequently visited by many tourists for its natural beauty. Cape Greco is a National Forest Park with unique flora and fauna and is protected nature park. (Photo by Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images)

Whether tourists will want to holiday in Cyprus is another matter.

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.

A new survey on Monday rating how EU member states responded to the pandemic gave it a score of +3.

 

This mark puts the island some way down the list headed by Denmark which received an exultant net satisfaction score of +37. Cyprus is still some way ahead of neighbour Greece, however, which languishes at the bottom of the list with a paltry score of -37.

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