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Cyprus to allow vaccinated British tourists to holiday from 1 May
4 March 2021, 22:58 | Updated: 5 March 2021, 15:07
Cyprus will allow vaccinated British tourists to holiday in the country without restrictions from 1 May.
Visitors who have had both jabs will not need to supply a negative Covid test or quarantine on arrival, the Cypriot government has said.
Cypriot deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said that people will need to have been given vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency.
He also said that the second dose must be administered at least seven days before travel.
"We have informed the British government that from 1 May we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine," Mr Perdios told Cyprus News Agency.
However, the UK government has said that people in England cannot holiday abroad until at least 17 May, and only then if the four tests for easing lockdown have been met.
British visitors are the largest market for Cyprus’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The industry represents about 13% of the Cypriot economy, however since the start of the pandemic arrivals and earnings have fallen by around 85%.
Cyprus has implemented numerous lockdowns during the pandemic but has had a milder outbreak than many other countries.
By Thursday, it had recorded a total of 36,004 infections and 232 deaths.
Authorities have also introduced widespread testing, with almost everyone obliged to take a test once a week.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has already said that the government wants to kick-start tourism in the UK and get people travelling abroad.
He said: “We are absolutely working with our international partners on the need for certification in terms of having had a vaccine to be able to travel to another country.”
“If another country wants to say that you need to have been vaccinated with a recognised vaccine to travel there we want to enable Brits to be able to take that journey.
"So we are working with international partners, and the EU is part of those discussions, as are several other countries around the world, and it’s obviously important work.”
He also said it is important that any scheme allows people who have not yet been vaccinated to also travel.
“As I understand it from the details set out, the EU proposal is that certification includes both whether you’ve had the vaccine and also whether you’ve recently had a test so those who can’t get vaccinated yet, which is particularly important,” he said.
“It matters that we get the details of this right for international travel.”
The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said earlier that she intended to publish draft legislation on 17 March over a “pass” that vaccinated EU citizens could use to travel for work or tourism.
“The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the EU or abroad – for work or tourism,” Von der Leyen said on Monday.